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Four Authors virtually visit with PSJA Middle School Students for World Read Aloud Day

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Texas Border Business

SAN JUAN – Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD virtually celebrated the power of reading aloud during World Read Aloud Day at Raul Yzaguirre Middle School on Feb. 3, where four “spooky” authors read excerpts from their books and spoke live to dozens of middle school students. The participating authors included: Kim Ventrella, Angie Smibert, Josh Allen, and Samantha M. Clark. 

“The power of Reading, Writing and Creativity at an early age is crucial. We really appreciate our PSJA Librarians for going above and beyond to make this possible,” said PSJA Superintendent Jorge L. Arredondo.  

The four authors contributed their time for free to answer student questions. Author Samantha Clark talked about why it was important for her to come participate today. 

“I grew up in the Caribbean, and we didn’t have authors come out. Taking the time to offer this and answer the students’ questions is important. Giving kids that chance to meet an author to let them know that we’re real people and they can do it too!” said Clark.  

“It’s exciting to see the development of readers and writers,” said Author Angie Smibert. 

As the authors read excerpts from their spooky novels, students responded in the chat: 

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“They all sound soooo good.” 

“I feel like reading that book!” 

During the virtual meeting, the authors also discussed their favorite topics to write about and gave advice to the future writers. 

“I write spooky stuff because I just love it. Have you ever been so freaked out by something; you get that prickle feeling on the back of your neck? I love that feeling! Where the hairs on your arm actually stand up,” said Author Josh Allen. “If you want to be a writer, the thing you should write about is the stuff you think about in your free time anyway.” 

 
“It was fantastic,” said 8th grade student Cesar Zarzosa, “I loved that the authors write about their personal life too.” 

The PSJA ISD Library Services Department is committed to continuing to provide engaging experiences for all students through virtual author visits and online programs to foster the love of reading. 

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