Reading Week at North Tonawanda's Drake Elementary School began with a visit from local children's author, poet and writing teacher Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.
A former fifth-grade teacher, VanDerwater has written poems as well as books, including "Forest Has a Song," "Every Day Birds," "Read! Read! Read!", "Poems Are Teachers: Learning Craft Line-By-Line" and "Dreaming of You."
VanDerwater spoke at the school, visited several classrooms and had lunch with some of the students who wanted to discuss her books more in depth.
"I love this school," VanDerwater said. "It is so small and intimate and everyone here has been so warmhearted and gracious to me. I have to thank Alicia Deprima's daughter for getting me invited here today."
Deprima, who teaches first grade, contacted VanDerwater after her daughter told her how the students in her school loved her visit.
"I think she is the youngest person that ever recommended me," VanDerwater said. "I am definitely sending her a nice thank you letter, because I enjoyed my visit at Drake so much today."