'How Much Is A Million?' Author To Visit Baylor-Waco ISD Partnership Schools

Dec. 13, 2006
News Photo 3902David Schwartz

by Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

David Schwartz, the author of more than 50 children's books - including How Much Is a Million? -will present his energetic and engaging program and sign books during events Wednesday and Thursday at a local bookstore and four Waco schools. Schwartz's appearance is a collaborative effort between Baylor University's School of Education and the Waco Independent School District.

"We were able to work with Waco ISD to bring in internationally known children's book author David Schwartz, who focuses on the fun in math and science, along with literacy and writing and a bit of social studies, as well," said Dr. Trena Wilkerson, associate professor of curriculum and instruction at Baylor's School of Education. "David Schwartz is very engaging, animated and visual."

Schwartz will hold a book signing and also take part in story time tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Waco Drive.

"I spend much of my time finding unusual, whimsical ways to make math and science come alive for kids and teachers, both through my writing, and through speaking at schools and conferences," Schwartz said.

On Thursday, Schwartz will visit:

• 135 third- through fifth-graders from 9 to 10:15 a.m. at West Avenue Elementary School, 1101 N.15th St., a Professional Development School (PDS) through the Baylor School of Education/Waco ISD partnership;

• 40 fifth and sixth graders from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal School; and

• 145 third- through fifth-graders from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. at Sul Ross Elementary, 901 S. 7th St., also a PDS campus.

Schwartz will then make a special Project PRIME presentation on "Proportional Reasoning" from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the library at Cesar Chavez Middle School, 700 S. 15th St. Project PRIME is a collaborative initiative at Baylor's School of Education that is focused on preparing teachers to implement effective teaching strategies for students in low-performing schools.

From 6 to 6:15 p.m., Schwartz will hold a Project PRIME book signing at Cesar Chavez Middle School, meet and greet middle school parents from 6:15 to 7:15, and then hold another book signing, this one specifically for Project LEAF parents, from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. Project LEAF (Learning English Among Friends) is an English as a Second Language program that was created initially for parents with children enrolled at Cesar Chavez. Because of widespread interest, LEAF is open to any community resident.

Schwartz's first book - How Much Is a Million? - was a bestseller and featured on the PBS children's television program "Reading Rainbow." His other books include If You Made a Million, The Magic of a Million, If You Hopped Like a Frog, If Dogs Were Dinosaurs, Supergrandpa, G Is For Googol, Q Is For Quark, the 24-book Look Once, Look Again series and the 12-book Life Cycles series.

As a child, one of his favorite books was Cheaper by the Dozen, which would serve as part of the inspiration for How Much Is a Million?

"In the book [Cheaper by the Dozen], the father brings home a large piece of paper with 1,000 vertical lines and 1,000 horizontal lines, and he tells his children that the lines cross to create 1,000,000 tiny squares," Schwartz said. "This was their chance to see what exactly 1,000,000 of something looked like. I loved the idea of a number as big as one million being captured in this way, for all to see and understand. A million seemed unfathomable, but a grid that's 1,000 X 1,000 I could understand! I thought about ways that I, too, might be able to 'capture' the number 1,000,000."

For more information, contact Dr. Wilkerson at (254) 710-6162. For more information on Schwartz, go to www.davidschwartz.com.

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