The day Marc Brown came to our school

This is so weird. I made a video. Of myself. Talking. About Marc Brown.

Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. Here it is.

Apparently, the Candlelighters (an organization to provide support to families of children with cancer) have been hosting an amazing fundraising contest for years. The contest is that the school with the most pounds of clothing donated wins a visit from a guest author. 
So throughout the month of February, my Facebook posts all looked like this: “Please please please, if you have any old clothes/shoes/linens you’d like to give away to a good cause, give them to us! We are collecting clothes for the Candlelighters charity and a chance to win an author visit from MARC BROWN!”
I told my husband, “I don’t care if you have to go to work naked! Fill these bags with clothes!” I harrassed my neighborhood and my family with similar messages. I demanded that everyone clean out their closets. I’d given so many clothes that I keep forgetting what I have left in the closet. We HAD to win! 
I obsessed over gathering clothes for weeks. And I wasn’t the only one. My teachers and kids were obsessed, too. We did our best and hoped it would work.
And then, two days ago, we got the call.




We collected 12,800 pounds of clothing. Out of 42 schools in our city, we collected the most.
Marc Brown was to visit our school…in two days! Our school erupted into a flurry of Marc Brown-i-ness. There were Arthurs everywhere. We paused our other plans and did the most fun stuff.

I, for my contribution, immediately did the most important thing I could think of. My buddy and I made an Arthur photobooth and a bunch of props to use, like Arthur ears, glasses, D.W. hair, and Buster ears, too. 

And then I took pictures of everybody in it and made a bulletin board: Find Your Inner Arthur.

We ordered shirts (to be done in two days!) and someone made an incredible cake and balloon arches. We made silhouettes of the characters to put on the windows and every grade level worked on Arthur projects.

We had so much fun getting ready for this visit. My buddy and even I drove to various spots to buy as many Arthur books as we could with a giant PO. And do you know what? NOBODY carries Arhtur anymore! We were horrified! Barnes & Noble, Target and the (very few) other bookstores in our town were like, “No, we can order them, but we don’t carry them.” What a disappointment. (Fortunately, when Marc Brown came to our school, he brought some of his own books!)

When I left work on Thursday evening, the hallways were blossoming with Arthurs, Busters, and D.W.s in every possible spot. Kids were gesturing to their work and saying, “I made that! We all did that!” They brought me to tears with their pride.

This morning, we were expecting Marc Brown at about 8:15. He showed up at 7:45! We already had the Arthur theme music playing over the loudpseaker. I was walking down the hallway, taking pictures of the kids’ work and trying not to cry when I heard the news that he’d arrived.

My principal guided him down the hallway and he (with his kind personality) stopped and admired all of the kids’ work, commenting on how incredible and wonderful it was. (Which really just shows me how incredible and wonderful HE is.)

We were downright giddy. I hung on his every word. Any time he praised the work the kids had done, I wanted to cry!
And then Arthur and D.W. arrived.

Right before his presentation, I got up the nerve to ask him to take a picture in our photo booth. AND HE SAID YES!

And this happened:

Marc Brown put on the Arthur ears that I made and stood in front of the backdrop that we made and took a picture! AAAAAAAAAAAA! I can die happy.

Once he was in the library, we set him up in his spot and made sure his equipment was ready. Our first group, K-2, buzzed into the library, complete with Arthur ears on every last kid.

Marc Brown’s presentation was incredible. He drew Arthur (both original Arthur and modern Arthur) and told us the story of how Arthur came to exist. Then he asked the kids to help him brainstorm animal parts to create a brand-new kind of animal character. They had a blast! They demanded the leg of a chicken and the leg of a hippo. The ears of an elephant and the neck of a giraffe. The nose of a pig and the wings of a dragon! 
Actually, one of the kids asked for fish legs…but…you know.
The kids laughed and asked questions and just generally had their little minds blown.

He shared pictures of his house (I want to go to there) and of his goat named Hillary Clinton, who apparently met the real Hillary Clinton. And she didn’t think it was that funny. (The person, not the goat.)
After his presentation, he signed books galore for teachers, kids, and parents. He did it all with a smile on his face. It was truly amazing. I don’t think the man had twenty seconds to himself. He didn’t have a drink of water, he didn’t go to the bathroom, and he didn’t even get to stand there quietly. He talked and smiled the whole time.

And then he did it all again for 3-5.
Marc Brown is an example of a kind, humble person with great talent who takes the time to make people feel good about who they are and what they can do and be. We were blessed to have such an experience.

And today, as I stand in front of my closet and try to figure out what to wear to school tomorrow, I keep asking myself, “Where’s that green sweater? What happened to my blue blouse?” and I realize that I stuffed all of them into a bag in a frenzy to donate.

I guess I have to go shopping!

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  1. I love this, your energy is so fun to watch. I met Marc Brown one time and I felt the same way you do. He is kind. He is good. He is sweet. You were so lucky to get him to come to your school. Congrats on collecting over 6 tons of clothing!

  2. Wow! It sounds like you and all the students and staff had an amazing time! I love that Marc Brown was such a gracious and entertaining person! I would love to have him visit our school! Hopefully someday! :o)

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