Author Kevin Kurtz Visits Wayland-Cohocton Elementary

Author Kevin Kurtz visited with Wayland-Cohocton Elementary students this week to talk about what it’s like to be an author. Mr. Kurtz writes children’s non-fiction books, many focusing on animals and science including space, biology, living environments, and science principles. Mr. Kurtz was raised in upstate New York and visited his grandparents on their farm right here in Wayland! His grandmother was also a school teacher in the district, which he told Wayland-Cohocton students, made him “excited to get to come and visit them and the school.” 

Mr. Kurtz talked with the students about some of his experiences that provided the research for his writing including a visit to a lift boat and various trips around the country as well as his employment experiences at an aquarium. He talked to students about the arduous process of getting your work published and how long and the many, many attempts he made before his first publication occurred in his 30s. Students were delighted to learn that his writing process wasn’t any different from his! 

“Author visits are important, especially in rural areas where our students aren’t exposed so easily to such experiences,” Elementary Librarian TA Mrs. Walker. “The students make the connection from the book to the author being a real person! The visits build a relationship between the kids and the words written in a story, and help students see the writing process of an author is very similar to what they are learning as emerging writers: thinking, imagination or research, and editing. Author visits promote reading and they create a lasting impression on the students.” 

During his visit Mr. Kurtz not only shared his own experiences and writing process, students had the opportunity to ask questions of the author. They loved hearing about his favorite experiences including animals and cool places he’s visited. He brought up how important it is that he researches his topics before writing. Regardless of where your research comes from, particularly if it is from online resources, it is imperative to know that the research is good and valid. 

Mr. Kurtz’s books are found in the Elementary Library and according to Mrs. Walker, are currently very popular - just about every single one is currently checked out!  

Author visits are provided through a COSER with BOCES which offers a number of choices for districts to take advantage of at reasonable rates. Visits are planned at the beginning of each school year and are a highlight in the buildings.