My Momma named me Susan Kaye when I was born. I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most friends call me Sue. Many family members call me Suzy. Our seven sweet, smart and sometimes sassy grandchildren call me Oma.
My husband Perry adores me and encourages me to be who I am. We are proud parents of five boys and three daughters in law who reside in the Great State of Texas.
Together Perry and I plant flower and vegetable seeds on the Illinois prairie and enjoy cooking and baking with our bountiful harvest of organic herbs and vegetables.
If you can’t find us in the garden, look for us on our bikes riding at least 25 miles, most days, on the many rails to trails or country roads. We have a large collection of bikes. My favorite is my pink Marin Portofina.
I enjoy various crafts, including sewing and painting with acrylics & watercolors.
As an educator, sharing the love of learning is what I do. I had a successful 34 year career as a teacher and coordinator of special programs in Texas public schools. Over the years, I taught hundreds of students from preschool through eight grade and a college level course preparing students to become teachers.
Reading and writing with English Language Learners from around the world was an experience that made me a better educator as I learned so much about celebrating diversity. I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree, Elementary Education, a Bilingual Certification, a Reading Recovery Certification, a Supervisory Certification and a Master of Education, Reading-Elementary.
Currently, I provide lessons twice a week for kids from our community. Together we enjoy reading, writing and math lessons and activities. This summer I taught five boys. The boys’ parents believe in keeping their kids actively engaged to avoid the “summer slide”. Two of the boys ride a four wheeler through a corn field to arrive for Summer School with Mrs. Sue. Now that school is in session, three of the boys continue after school lessons with me.
The key to learning and growing is in the power of the written word. Knowing how to read, comprehend what is read, and mastering the skill of writing are required skills that will equal student success. Parents are our children’s first teacher. Empowering parents and guardians with tips and tools that are needed to support their child’s learning at home and at school, prepares the child for a successful future.
I share this personal background with you to express my love of reading and writing for children.
About three years ago, I became more serious about my desire to write and share stories with children. I enjoy writing fiction and nonfiction stories. I believe in the value of stories that are filled with wonder and new learning. Books that kids like to read again and again are books that inspire and encourage.
I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
I am a round two judge for the 2015 Elementary/Middle Grade Non-Fiction Judge for CYBILS Awards.
The Write Team
[I note the link needs updating as current articles are not listed.]
As a member of The Write Team, I write articles for a local newspaper, The Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat. Most are educational in nature and some are thought provoking and provide an awareness and understanding of various topics.
Through the Prairie Garden Gate
A Writer’s Mission Statement: My Mission Statement
The GROG Blog
Sharing my latest post: Time to Pitch
Children’s and YA Writer Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Two Guest Posts: Mentor Texts in the Classroom
Gold From the Dust: Bringing Stories Back to Life Darlene Beck-Jacobson
Two Guest Posts: The Importance of Reading & Writing
Various on-line writing challenges:
PiBoIdMo Tara Lazar Picture Book Idea Month
ReFoReMo Carrie Charley Brown Three Guest Posts: Mentor Texts
RhyPiBoMo Angie Karcher
Rhyming Picture Book Month
Nerdy Chicks Rule Kid Lit Summer School Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Kami Kinard
Kid Lit Summer School
Favorite books on the craft of writing:
1. Writing Picture Books
By Ann Whitford Paul
2. Bird by Bird
By Anne Lamott
An on-line course:
Making Picture Book Magic
Susanna Leonard Hill
A recent conference:
Kristen Fulton WOW Retreat 2015
Learning and growing every day is important to me. Reading, writing & creating is what I enjoy doing every day.