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Local English teacher raises money to bring author to her class

Erin Osmon author of 'Jason Molina: Riding with the Ghost' (WCIV)

One local teacher went the extra mile for her students this week.

She started raising money over the summer to bring in an author of a new book they're reading in class.

Listening, typing and raising hands, more than 30 tenth graders have soaked in every word.

"The past couple days has been an immersive experience, the opportunity to be able to talk to someone who wrote something that is important is great," said Luke Shaw, a student at Charleston County School of the Arts .

Alea McKinley is Luke's teacher in his English 2 class.

"I did it last year with a fiction book, Kitchens of the Great Midwest the author J. Ryan Stradal was able to come and speak with students and it was so meaningful that I wanted to do it again," said McKinley.

She says this experience takes learning to the next level.

"I think the best kind of learning is when you can actually speak to a writer," said McKinley.

The writer, Erin Osmon, came out with her first book in the spring, and it's next on the list for McKinley's class to read.

"I was excited to come and be part of an opportunity that I didn't have as a kid," said Osmon

An opportunity to share her story and inspire young minds.

"I've really loved the discussion with the students they've been really open and accepting of me," said Osmon.

McKinley says giving students this experience is part of the reason she's a teacher.

"When I went to grad school and became an English teacher one of the things that fueled me was wow I want to prepare students for real life," said McKinley.

Osmon worked with 164 students at Charleston School of the Arts over 4 days. McKinley used Donors Choose to raise money to bring Osmon in from Chicago. It's a site similar to go fund me but for teachers. McKinley also used Donors Choose to fund her in-class library and to bring the the author J. Ryan Stradal to the school last year.

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