‘We’re all writers, we’re all readers’

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Staff Writer
Brandon Twp. — This past week, students at Oakwood Elementary and Harvey-Swanson Elementary got to hear a presentation from children’s book author and 2000 Brandon graduate Emmy Kastner.
“I’m so proud of being a Brandon grad,” said Kastner. “I was most class spirited when I was a Brandon senior in 2000, and it remains. I’m just so proud of Brandon and growing up here. And giving back, being with students today, meant so much today.”
Kastner has written and illustrated 9 children’s books, including her ‘Nerdy Babies’ series, which explain various aspects of nature, science and the world. They cover topics such as space, the ocean, transportation, rain forests and more. Prior to being an author, she was a high school teacher.
“I always wanted to be a writer,” she said. “Growing up, I was so grateful for all of my teachers who saw that in me. My heart is with Carrie Losey, who was my fifth and sixth grade teacher, and she saw that I wanted to be a writer, and she gave the tools and support and encouragement to do it. In sixth grade, she said there was a national competition for poetry, and she said I should submit, I could be in a book, and I was like ‘that’s what I want, I want to be in a book.’ and so we did it, and I was in a book in sixth grade. She was so great and supportive.”
Students at Oakwood Elementary got to meet with her on Monday, followed by Harvey-Swanson on Tuesday. Fourth grade students also got to participate in a writing workshop to learn skills and write their own stories. The students will send her what they’ve written when they’re done.
“We’re all writers, we’re all readers, even if you don’t want to grow up and be a professional,” she said. “Whatever you want to do in life, I’m confident that being a strong writer and as strong reader will lead to great things.”
The full sets of books will be available at the libraries at Oakwood and Harvey-Swanson.

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