work and play at brent subic

So I went back to work. My second week in the Philippines was spent at Brent International School's Subic Bay campus, which holds classes in the old naval base elementary school. Students had prepared for my visit.
Writing with third graders
Finding fourth-grader Ramon in the library later in the week. "I'm the first person to check out Countdown!" Great, Ramon! "What'cha reading right now?"
Wowee. Ramon's teacher later told me Ramon has checked Hugo Cabret out of the library over and over again. He was so proud to be sitting in the middle school library reading, instead of in the lower school library. "I like the books here," he said. You go, Ramon.
First and second graders get ready to sing the song Jim wrote that accompanies One Wide Sky. It was fabulous!
Heading out of the Subic compound and into the city of Olangapo with librarians Angelo Fernandez and Rose Austria.
our jeepney! I sat right up front behind the passenger seat and forked over my fare.
The public market in Olongapo.
Our chariot home. Ghelo will sit behind the driver.
 Thanks for the ride!
I'm working at Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Spotsylvania, Virginia today. No jeepneys, no trikes, no steamy tropical heat. But we will be singing One Wide Sky in kindergarten and first grade.

In the upper elementary grades we will be talk about Ruby and Comfort and House Jackson and Mississippi and "what's your story?"

Kids will bring notebooks and we'll begin the working of writing our stories. I will carry the memories of the Philippines with me, all those amazing students, all those fabulous teachers, all those teaching and learning moments, both in the classroom and out.

Thank you so much to everyone who worked so hard to bring me to the Philippines. I will never forget your hard work and kindnesses. I will always treasure the people and experiences I had there, both as a young girl and a grown woman.  The past informs the present. It tells us who we are.

Everything is story material. Story is everything. And now I am home, and in Virginia. I'm very glad to be here. Off I go.


  1. Hi!
    This comment does not connect with your current post, but I just had to share. I teach third grade and Love, Ruby Lavender is my favorite book. We use it during "book club" for discussion. I have to read the book aloud, which is not a hardship because I love the beauty of the words. This week, two things occurred that need to be highlighted. I'm not prone to getting teary eyed at books. It's just the way I am. Yet, there are two places in LRL that I need to pep talk myself thru before I read it to the kids. On Monday, we were reading the section that follows the death of the chicks. As I read Ruby's thoughts and how clearly you depicted her longing for Miss Eula, I did not have a lump but rather a cantelope in my throat, missing my grandparents. Today, we were discussing the chapters again. Ruby talks about being a "crybaby." Someone mentioned how crybaby was what Melba had called her at the funeral of Garnet. A young girl in my class got very big eyed.
    She then said aloud,"I get it!" Another child chimed in, Melba was feeling as bad as Ruby but instead of crying she just got mean. The girl who said, "I get it" shared that she could connect to this because when her grandmother died, she blamed her mom, and her mom had nothing to do with the illness. She sees that now.

    Now, that's a text to self connection like none other. Your words are wonderful and I am thankful.

  2. Woww, "MissMoyer"! Thanks so much for sharing this story. That's a connection ike no other, and it comes as a result of long and patient reading aloud of all kinds of stories, and helping young readers see themselves as part of a story and part of this whole human connection. You are wonderful as well. Thanks for all you do. I'm tickled to hear that Ruby is being so well-read and received. Love hearing how you read it, too.


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