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Fairgrieve students explore different cultures with visiting author

World traveler, athlete, author and photographer Jan Reynolds captivated an audience of Fairgrieve Elementary students Thursday with tales of her worldly experiences.

Students in third through fifth grades gathered in the school’s gymnasium to learn about Reynolds, her experiences across the globe and the many things she has learned along the way.

Author, photographer and world traveler Jan Reynolds fields questions from Fairgrieve Elementary fourth and sixth graders during a presentation in the school gymnasium Thursday morning. Students learned about different cultures and the importance of embracing diversity.
Author, photographer and world traveler Jan Reynolds fields questions from Fairgrieve Elementary fourth and sixth graders during a presentation in the school gymnasium Thursday morning. Students learned about different cultures and the importance of embracing diversity.

The author of 14 children’s books, including “Mother and Child,” “Only the Mountain Do Not Move,” “Cycle of Rice – Cycle of Life” and others, talked about cultural connections and embracing diversity.

According to the author’s website, Reynolds’ lectures incorporate several academic subjects, which provide a great supplemental lesson to what is taught in the classroom.

“She will help you meet the standards for earth science, English, social studies and geography … all through the lens of her cultural and environmental experiences,” the site said.

For teachers and students at Fairgrieve, the lecture was a welcome addition to complement the curriculum.

Students were fascinated by the shelters, traditions and customs in other parts of the world.

They discussed everything from wooden nose studs to musical instruments, all while learning the importance of embracing other ways of life.

Fairgrieve Elementary students Jade Brownrigg (left) and Jaydyn Conley are all smiles as they pose for a photo with author Jan Reynolds during her visit to the school Thursday. The two were among four students to receive an autographed copy of one of Reynolds’ cultural books.
Fairgrieve Elementary students Jade Brownrigg (left) and Jaydyn Conley are all smiles as they pose for a photo with author Jan Reynolds during her visit to the school Thursday. The two were among four students to receive an autographed copy of one of Reynolds’ cultural books.

“If we feel like we’re one human family, then I think that helps to create that bond, that worldwide trust … because these kids will be dealing with all cultures when they’re older,” Reynolds said.

The author encouraged students to take advantage of their surroundings, noting that today’s children are part of a generation who have few limitations.

“You were born at a time and a place where you can do anything,” she said during her presentation.

In addition to two morning presentations, Reynolds also held two discussion groups for students to gain an even greater understanding of the cultures she referenced in her books and through a multimedia production.

The presentations were capped off with students Konner Moody, Jaydyn Conley, Ana Marroquin-Aguilar and Jade Brownrigg receiving an autographed copy of one of Reynolds’ books, courtesy of the Fulton Teachers Association.