Children’s author visits FMU

Shanae Giles, Staff Writer

Award-winning children’s author David Schwartz visited FMU on Oct. 26 to give a presentation about being an educator and author.

Nearly 50 educators, visitors and students attended the event in Ervin Dining Hall’s Palmetto Room.  They purchased up to a thousand dollars worth of Schwartz’s books such as “How Much is a Million?” and “If You Hopped Like a Frog.”  In addition to his presentation, Schwartz also did a few book signings and talked to educators one-on-one.

“Doesn’t matter where I am, I’m always thrilled to work with educators,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz has been writing since 1985 and has traveled the country and the world speaking to people about his inspiration for his math and science children’s books.

His books are used in many elementary and middle school curriculums.  Schwartz has won a number of awards as an author including Children’s Best Picture Science Book of the Year for his colorful book “Where In the Wild?”

Schwartz began his presentation entitled “Anything Can Happen (Even Math) When Children Wonder” with a few light jokes saying that they should make a bumper sticker that says “If you can buy this, thank a teacher.”

Schwartz uses mathematical calculations to answer questions that kids may want to know the answer to, such as it takes 95 years to count to one billion but it takes only 23 days to count to a million.  He said that his focus is to connect literature to math.

During his presentation, he showed dozens of letters kids have written him over the years testing his calculations of how long a million quarters would be or how many seconds a person has lived.

Schwartz contacted FMU’s Jane Brandis, assistant professor of education and clinical coordinator for the School of Education, about coming to speak at FMU between his elementary school visits.

“He takes what he does and talks about how important it is for children to not just get taught math, but to discover it for themselves.” Brandis said.

She also said that she was impressed by the attendance at the reading and hopes Schwartz will be able to make another visit to FMU.