By Judy Siegel
“Kelly Lane Kids are the best in the world,” is something I have always said. I was lucky enough to spend twenty years of my life teaching third and fourth grade at my ‘home away from home.” During those years, my rhyming stories featuring a secret friend, Schlimpoon, were an integral part of my classroom.
She was pink, green, and yellow,
Certainly not a fellow
Because of the sandals she was wearing
And the sunglasses through which she was staring!
Some of my students illustrated the ten stories; others wrote their own; still others performed Schlimpoon skits, decked out in pink, green, and yellow!
No Mom or Dad has ever seen me.
I’m a secret friend; that’s how it must be.
We all knew that Schlimpoon wasn’t real and so we began more serious discussions about problem solving. Thus my unit on self-reliance began.
Over the years, many students encouraged me to get the stories illustrated and published. Some even went as far as buying me books on how to do it! Two years ago I DID look for an illustrator. This past spring, the first story came to life in the form of The Schlimpoon and Peter, in which Schlimpoon helps Peter get over his fear of the dentist. Always the teacher, I wanted to have some fun activities, crossing curriculum lines, for children to do after reading the story. That led to the creation of my website, www.schlimpoon.com.
Through Facebook, I have been lucky enough to find MANY of my 500 former “Kelly Lane Kids.” I love finding out what they are doing and where they are living. Now, I would love to reach even more. I have so many questions that I can’t contain them. What are they doing? Are they finding happiness? Are they being self-reliant? Do they remember our Kids as Teacher Day, our Math Fair, the Trial of Hansel and Gretel, Monet Picnic Day…and more?
I thank The Granby Drummer for letting me reach out. My website has contact information and I can also be found on Facebook ( Judy Zietz Siegel).