On March 22, students of Don Callejon School got to meet someone who has rubbed shoulders with famous professional athletes. Jeff Savage, a popular children’s book author, gave multiple presentations at the school. Students listened and laughed during Savage’s comedic and engaging talks at the morning auditorium assemblies and afternoon library question and answer sessions.
“The best part of doing a school visit is motivating the kids to want to write,” Savage says. “I want to show kids that writing has rewards- it’s not just a class assignment. I visit a lot of schools and do about 80 to 100 school visits per year. My first job is writing books, my second job is visiting schools, and my third job is writing back to the students who have written to me.”
Steve Nash, Tiger Woods, Tony Hawk, Tony Romo, Kristi Yamaguchi, Barry Bonds, and Andre Agassi are just a few of the many big-name athletes Savage has written books about. An author of over 170 books, this former sportswriter for the San Diego Union-Tribune has certainly put to use his studies in journalism and communications from University of California, San Diego.
“I don’t write books about people who don’t make smart choices,” Savage says to one of the classes visiting him in the library for a question and answer session. “When I met [a famous athlete], he wasn’t making good choices. He was doing stuff he shouldn’t be doing. But he stopped doing it and now, I can write a book about him!”
Students asked Savage many questions, such as who has inspired him to write, what inspires him to write, and who his favorite person to write about is.
Savage shares that his teachers have inspired him to write and names his sixth grade teacher as one of his mentors. He admits that getting paid is a rewarding part of his job as a professional writer. Alluding to his favorite person, Savage confesses he has always enjoyed writing love notes to his wife, Mrs. Savage.
When asked about upcoming book releases, Savage reveals he is writing a book on New York Knicks player Jeremy Lin for middle grade readers to be released sometime during this summer.
“I enjoy all sports,” says Savage, a native of the Bay Area. “I root for the Bay Area teams. I’m for the 49ers and Raiders, the A’s and Giants, the Warriors and Sharks. I take pride in our teams.”
After his library presentations, Savage signed autographs for the students, who waited patiently in line to have a moment with the award-winning author.
“The students here are exceptionally well-behaved and enthusiastic,” Savage observes.
Michele Taylor, a teacher librarian at Don Callejon School, was pleased with Savage’s visit.
“For as long as I’ve known Jeff, I’ve thought that his message to students about listening to teachers and being confident in their writing and reading has been such a valuable message,” Taylor says.
Visit www.jeffsavage.com for more information about Jeff Savage.