Local author returns to roots at Fairland
ROME TOWNSHIP — Fairland West Elementary hosted Mary Calhoun Brown in the Library recently.
Brown gave reviews of her book, “There Are No Words.”
The third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students asked many questions about the book.
Angie Wireman, school librarian, had previewed the book with all of the classes as they attended library class.
Although the book is fiction, the main character, Jaxon McKenzie copes with bullying because of her disability. The themes of the book — determination and friendship — were appealing to the students.
Brown took the opportunity to talk about bullying and the students’ responsibilities to refrain from that negative behavior.
“Teaching good character begins at home with families,” she said. “But, when children learn at home to make fun of people or classmates, the school has to burden that responsibility for society.”
Fairland Principal Teresa Johnson was excited about the visit.
“It was a privilege to have Mary Calhoun Brown as a visiting author to Fairland schools. Mary graduated as an honor student from Fairland High School and went on to college and a successful writing career. We were pleased to introduce Mary, and to showcase her work.
“Our students enjoyed hearing about Mary’s early years at Fairland. Many of the students were interested in how Mary became an award winning author.
Additionally, the topic of bullying correlates with the objectives of the Fairland School District’s anti-bullying policy.
Jim Roberts, principal of Fairland Middle School, attended one of Brown’s sessions.
“We are working together to combat bullying at all levels. The objectives are the same for all students; whether they are in third grade or eighth grade. The prohibition against bullying is published in our student handbooks, and is enforced. We feel that bringing Mary Calhoun Brown to speak with our students supports the on-going efforts being made by the counselors at both schools,” Roberts said.
“Kristi Warner and Kim Elliott, school counselors, have conducted classroom sessions since the beginning of the school year. Their anti-bullying programs will continue through the year to reach students at each grade level.”
“Mr. Roberts and I believe that school training about harassment, intimidation and bullying can help eliminate such prohibited behaviors through class discussions, counseling, and reinforcement of socially appropriate behavior,” Johnson said. “Mary Calhoun Brown’s visit helps to highlight the mission of our school: to provide a safe, nurturing learning environment that challenges our students to become productive members of society.”