Author Bethany Hegedus visited my school on February 4! Her book Grandfather Gandhi, co-written by Arun Gandhi, is on this year's Georgia Children's Picturebook Award nominee list. Grandfather Gandhi is the true story of 12 year old Arun, who is the fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. In the book, Arun's family has come to live at his grandfather's ashram. Arun is quick to anger and finds it difficult to live up to his family's name. Gandhi teaches Arun that anger is like electricity - it can strike like lightning and split a living tree or it can be channeled to shed light like a lamp.
Our students had limited knowledge of Mahatma Gandhi before reading this book, so when each class came to the media center for a lesson prior to Ms. Hegedus's visit, we read and discussed the Pebble Go article about him. Building their background knowledge of Mahatma Gandhi helped them to understand the book and the lessons that Arun learned from his grandfather.
During her presentation, Ms. Hegedus talked to students about becoming a writer, how she met Arun, and how students can be the light in the world. Dr. Gandhi was not able to travel to our school, but he videotaped a message for our students and we played it during the presentation.
Ms. Hegedus asked students to take the "Be the Light" pledge, encouraging them to use their anger in a positive way. I know that our students and staff who attended this presentation were very inspired to be the light in the world!
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."