DUNN — Through his words and colorful illustrations, Mike Litwin enjoyed sparking the imagination of children at Plain View Elementary School.
The award-winning creator recently visited to share his work and connect with the school’s theme for the year — “If You Believe It, You Can Achieve It.”
“My life is a little bit of a testament to that mantra,” he said. “That’s what I really wanted to talk to the kids about today. I wanted to give them an idea of what I did and how fun of a job it can be.”
Although Litwin spoke about his career, he stressed to the students about the importance of believing in themselves, regardless of what they want to achieve in the future.
“Believing in yourself is a huge main first component to getting to Point A to Point B,” Litwin said. “For anyone else who believes in you … it’s wonderful to have that, but until you have that belief in yourself, nothing really happens.”
Litwin’s top selling work includes “My Name is Not Isabella,” “My Name is Not Alexander,” and “Isabella, Girl on the Go.” The works received recognition through the New York Times best-selling list for picture books. The target range for his illustrations are for children 4 to 8-years-old and his writings are for an older age group, ranging from 7 to 10.
“That’s a really fun age to write for,” he said while signing autographs in books.
Principal Nicole Peterson said his visit from Greenville, which focused on confidence and passion, was beneficial to students.
“We at Plain View Elementary School want to instill in students the belief that no matter what the barrier is you can overcome it … we believe that every child that walks in our building has the capacity to succeed.”
That theme was supported through the presentation. Peterson said it’s important to demonstrate the doors and opportunities that can be opened through literacy. Litwin also enjoyed lunch with some of the top student readers.
“We were very excited to have him here today,” Peterson said. “It was a great opportunity to promote literacy at our school and the students enjoyed it very much.”
She added that it was a great opportunity for the students, which was made possible through a grant written by kindergarten teacher Catherine Ruiz. Another purpose for the visit was to show that literacy can be fun and interactive.
Literacy plays a major role in elementary schools throughout Sampson County, because of expectations with the Read to Achieve legislative initiative. Under the law, third-grade students who are not reading at grade level at the end of the year will receive assistance through summer reading camps and other efforts. The goal is to prepare them for fourth grade.
“It’s something that can open many doors,” Peterson said about the advantages of reading.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.