kathy miller visit
  • Author, photographer Kathy Miller visits Marion-Walker Elementary School

    By Brit Milazzo
    bmilazzo@basd.net
    Public relations, BASD

    Kathy Miller has been able to take two hobbies and put them together to help make a living. The Canadian author, now based in Pennsylvania, uses photographs of nature to inspire stories she creates to write children’s books based on those images.

    She said it helps showcase her passion for the wild, while combining it with her love of photography to tell a story.

    On March 7, Miller visited Marion-Walker Elementary School during a week the staff and student body was celebrating literacy – piggybacked off of Read Across America Day, held the Saturday before the event. Read Across America is a national campaign inspired by Dr. Seuss to promote reading.

    Miller held two assemblies with students – with kindergarten through second-grade students, followed by those in third- through fifth-grade – and highlighted her books that featured Chippy Chipmunk.  She also donated some of her books to the school’s library, and took the time to meet some students during lunch and Family Reading Night later that evening.

    Her books include, “Chippy Chipmunk Parties in the Garden,” “Chippy Chipmunk: Babies in the Garden,” “Chippy Chipmunk: Friends in the Garden” and Chippy Chipmunk Feels Empathy.”

    Chippy is a chipmunk that lives on the grounds of Miller’s home. She said she photographs it and writes a story based on her photos and observations of the chipmunk in its surroundings. She also uses her photography and writing to help educate students about nature sights and sounds.

    During an interactive session, she allowed student volunteers to create a burrow a chipmunk makes in the wild, using an assortment of pipes. There, she explained the purpose of the burrow and why chipmunks build and use it.

    Miller was able to visit the school, thanks to the school’s reading intervention teacher Katy Haagen who requested the visit, and from support by the Parent Teacher Organization. Haagen said she met Miller two years ago at a conference and thought Miller’s love of nature and literacy would be a good fit for students.

    Miller is also a teacher, cellist, author and award-winning nature photographer, who graduated with degrees in music and education from Kutztown University. To learn more about Miller, visit this link: http://www.chippychipmunk.com/aboutkathy/aboutkathy.html.