I'm always surfing for new kid-friendly sites and was delighted to find that kidlit author Donna Guthrie has created a really cool one. Meet Me At the Corner - Virtual Field Trips for Kids is one impressive site. It is loaded with interesting subjects and interviews. I asked Donna if she'd give us an interview for the blog.
How did you come up with the concept of virtual field trips for kids?
I was in the process of getting my MFA in Children's and Young Adult Writing from the Vermont College Program, when it came to me that there might be a new way to write nonfiction for the 21st Century Learner.
What are the challenges of creating the episodes?
The biggest challenge at MMATC is just me! I upload a new episode every two weeks. That means 24 shows a year. I feel like I am always in production mode.
I hire the filmmakers to video each episode but I am in charge of the research, the writing of the 24 scripts, contacting the experts, arranging the interviews for the children, directing the shows and running the website.
I am the one who creates the inks to other fun websites about the topic and the list of recommended books and the one who writes questions and activities for the Learning Corner, which comes with each episode. As you can imagine, this takes a great deal of time. I was a complete novice when I began five years ago and I made all the usual mistakes in setting up the website. But over time, I feel a lot more comfortable with directing and editing and promoting MMATC.
How do you decide what videos to pick, and what is your submission policy?
I am always looking for new topics. I also try to match my show up with both public and homeschool curriculum. I love interviews with children's authors. The book reviews are also a favorite of mine. I'd love to have kid reviews of all the Newbury Award winners. I confess that I am big a newspaper reader. If something interests me, I cut out the article and then go about contacting the people in charge and arranging an interview for the kids.
Your site is full of all sorts of activities for kids. What are you working on now?
I just finished an episode about a fashion designer in New York City and an interview with a Tuskegee Airman who is 93 years old. I am currently researching a show about bird banding in Colorado, an interview with an baseball umpire and an interview with a magician.
What is your favorite dessert and why?
I think it must be Coconut Cream Pie. My Aunt Jane used to make the best coconut cream pie you have ever eaten. She's gone now so I keep searching for a pie that tastes as good as hers.
Donna W. Guthrie
20 West Del Norte
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Phone: (858) 456-7670
World Wide Web: www.donnaguthrie.com
2006- Present MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids (www.meetmeatthecorner.org). Writer, director and producer of a series of educational video podcasts for children ages 7-13.
1980-2006 Freelance writer and Author
2001 COLLECT THIS! A Kid's Guide To Collecting, Price Stern Sloan
2001 MYSTERIES, MAPS & MONSTERS, Millbrook Press
1998 THE YOUNG JOURNALIST'S BOOK, Millbrook Press
1998 REAL WORLD MATH, Millbrook Press
1996 PUTTING ON A PLAY. Millbrook Press
1996 HOW TO WRITE, RECITE AND DELIGHT IN POETRY, Millbrook Press
1996 THE SECRET ADMIRER, Ideals Publishing
1995 ONE HUNDRED AND TWO STEPS, Cool Kids Press
1995 THE YOUNG PRODUCER'S VIDEO BOOK, Millbrook Press
1994 THE BETTER LETTER BOOK, Learning Works
1994 HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK ON A SHOE STRING, CBI Publications
1993 I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S HISTORY! Price Stern Sloan
1993 THE YOUNG AUTHOR'S DO IT YOURSELF BOOK, Millbrook Press
1993 NOBIAH'S WELL, Ideals Publishing Company
1993 NOT FOR BABIES, Simon & Schuster Publishers
1993 FRANKIE MURPHY'S KISS LIST, Simon & Schuster
1990 THE WITCH HAS AN ITCH, Simon & Schuster
1990 MRS. GIGGLEBELLY IS COMING FOR TEA, Simon & Schuster
1988 A ROSE FOR ABBY, Abingdon Press
1988 WHILE I’M WAITING, Current, Inc.
1987 LITTLE PIG STAYED HOME, Price Stern Sloan
1986 GRANDPA DOESN'T KNOW IT'S ME, Human Sciences Press
1985 THE WITCH WHO LIVES DOWN THE HALL, Harcourt Brace
Magazine Articles and Stories:
9/99 San Diego Parent
9/99 Family Celebrations
7/99 SITTING INN, Mature Living
10/98 LLAMA FIREFIGHTERS, Llama Magazine
5/98 OLD TOWN GUESTHOUSE, New Mobility
12/97 LLAMA LADY, Llama Magazine
2/93 A SECRET ADMIRER, My Friend
1/92 PANCAKES, Hopscotch
11/91 FAMILIES WHO VOLUNTEER, The Springs Magazine
12/87 THE CHRISTMAS LETTER, Denver Post
11/87 WASHING AWAY THE PAST, Sunday Digest
8/87 HEY HOLLYWOOD! Network, The Magazine for Colorado Women
4/87 MY SECOND FORTY YEARS, Network, The Magazine for Colorado Women
4/87 SPRING INTO THE SCIENCE FAIR, Gifted and Talented Newsletter
5/86 WHILE I'M WAITING, Parent's Plus Magazine
1/86 ON THE DEATH OF A GRANDPARENT, Parent's Plus Magazine
1/86 MAKE MINE A MYSTERY, American Library Journal
9/83 IN PRAISE OF OLDER CHILDREN, Parent's Plus
7/83 THE FOURTH OF JULY PARADE, Turtle Magazine
9/83 OLD FRIEND, NEW FRIEND PARTY, Fifty Upward Network