Children’s book authors Alecia Spendlove and Marc Sedaka read and sang with children at Providencia and Washington Elementary schools recently as part of Read Across America Day and Music In Our Schools Month.
On Monday morning, March 3, Spendlove and Sedaka, joined by their own children, talked with approximately 50 Kindergarteners at Providencia about the inspiration for their books. The special assembly was held during the Kindergarten students’ weekly music class, which is provided for all classes in grades K through 5 by Education Through Music – L.A. (ETM-LA.)
Later that morning, Spendlove and Sedaka also read and sang with youngsters at Washington Elementary. Grades K through 3 at Washington receive regular music classes funded by ETM-LA, in partnership with BUSD’s fourth and fifth grade music teacher to sustain as school-wide program, according to Victoria Lanier, Executive Director of ETM-LA.
Spendlove, a former model, was motivated to write her first book Alexandra Rain, for her daughter Alexandra as a way to teach “the most important thing is to be kind to others and express that from the inside.”
After first creating an app of her book and recording songs, Spendlove then published Alexandra Rain. The voice of Alexandra Rain, fourth-grader Alison Boomer, also appeared with Spendlove to read the character’s words and sing a song with the children.
Screenwriter and author Sedaka, son of musician Neil Sedaka, worked with his father to create a children’s version of the elder Sedaka’s well-known song “Calendar Girl.” Dinosaur Pet was the result, and the book can be read and sung along to the “Calendar Girl” melody.
Sedaka was joined by his daughter Charlotte to read and sing the colorful book to the children. He also talked about working with an illustrator to create the images in the book.
“The boy in the pictures looks like my father did as a boy,” said Sedaka. He pointed out little items in the images that had a personal connection, such as the titles of the books in the illustrated bedroom are his own children’s names.
“Our family time revolves around playing music and reading with our kids. Not only does this enhance their creativity, it gives them a foundation necessary to succeed,” commented Spendlove. “We see the benefits firsthand and believe that every child has the right to experience the joy of a creative, well-rounded education.”
Spendlove also donated an Alexandra Rain book to each Kindergarten and first grade classroom and the libraries at the two schools. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from sales of the book worldwide during March will go to support Providencia and Washington’s music programs, added Lanier.