By Krishna Chaugule

Last week, we had the wonderful opportunity to invite Dame Julie Andrews*, and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton to Innovation Academy to discuss their new book, Enchanted Symphony. We had the wonderful opportunity of partnering with Little Shop of Stories and Alpharetta Elementary School to make this visit happen!

The book revolves around the significance of art and music in our lives. The enchanted symphony celebrates a powerful, hopeful fable about the importance of art, nature, and community. Moreover, it discusses art and music in an abstract way, using colorful illustrations and thus helping students better relate to the theme of the book!

This was a meaningful experience for students, as they were able to learn about the process of creative writing on such a major scale. Students especially enjoyed the read aloud section, where they were able to hear Julie Andrews and Emma Hamilton read a section from Enchanted Symphony out loud. This demonstration helped students better grasp the concept of the book- especially when the authors were able to explain their inspiration for it.

Moderator questions were helpful in getting an idea of what the authors wanted to showcase and what they were interested in writing about. Moreover, students from Alpharetta Elementary School and Innovation Academy were able to ask questions about the authors’ works- including about their process and how they worked in conjunction to write a book as a pair.

This experience was not only educational, but also provided students with an opportunity to have an enjoyable and creative experience in a school environment. The Student Library Advisory Board works towards initiating and organizing many such events! A huge shout out to Mrs. Bongiorno for organizing this visit, and helping students gain such valuable experiences!

* Dame Julie Andrews DBE is an actress, singer, and author. She has garnered numerous accolades throughout her career spanning over seven decades, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, two Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards as well as nominations for three Tony Awards. Singer and actress Julie Andrews has long been famed for her perfect pitch and impressive vocal range. From her 1954 Broadway debut as Polly in “The Boy Friend,” she has received rave reviews from critics and lasting devotion from music fans. 


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