Author jazzes up reading for Fremont students |

Author jazzes up reading for Fremont students

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Children's books author Matthew Gollub teaches Mary Berge's students writing skills during class at Fremont Elementary School on Thursday. Gollub visited as part of the school's "Jazz Up Your Reading Week."

Matthew Gollub’s purpose at Fremont Elementary School on Thursday was simple: Spark a desire for curiosity.

His chosen weapons: Drums and music.

“I want them to feel a sense of curiosity and excitement about all the things to see in the world,” Gollub said. “I am trying to create an antidote to boredom. I want them to have an open mind and explore their own potential.”

Gollub gave readings at assemblies throughout the day and then gave a writing workshop for gifted and talented students in the afternoon.

The workshop was designed to help students find inspiration for their writing, as well as things to look for during the process.

“We worked on sound and rhythm of their sentences and using short and long sounds when they write. I wanted to give them something different than what they would get in a textbook,” Gollub said.

He also gave a presentation to parents Thursday evening.

“I talk about family literacy and ways for parents to cultivate a taste for reading in the home,” Gollub said.

Gollub, of Santa Clara, Calif., is the author of seven children’s books, including “The Jazz Fly,” which he read during the assemblies.

“I liked it when we were doing our own jazz beat,” said 9-year-old Cheyanne Duve. “Mine was kind of fast with slow parts.”

Cameron Brown, 9, said, “I learned that books are really cool and that I want to read all his books because they are fun.”

Gollub told the class, “A lot of the time we don’t know how the story is going to turn out until we write it.”

Gollub completed his first book in 1993 and began giving presentations in 1995.

He tours the country speaking to schools and conferences about his books and writing, which incorporates sound, drums and several languages. Gollub speaks fluent Spanish and Japanese.

“I love being able to speak to children. It’s the opposite of sitting down at a desk. This is a very interactive social form of expression that counterbalances the solitude of writing,” Gollub said.

The presentations were part of Fremont’s “Jazz Up Your Reading Week,” which included themed costumes and other all school activities.

The week ends today with “Read a Hat Day.”

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.