Teacher To Serve As Editorial Adviser

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Teacher Terri Legassie thought the call from Scholastic Books' magazine division asking her to serve on an advisory board was phony.

"Is this someone I know trying to play a trick on me?" she asked the caller.

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According to teacher Terry Legassie, she uses "Clifford the Big Red Dog" magazine to send her students go home with a real understanding of how words relate to pictures. The children read it to their parents as homework.

It was not at trick.

Legassie was chosen as one of eight advisers after filling out a survey for Scholastic's, "Clifford the Big Red Dog" magazine.

"It has got beautiful pictures and sequencing and all the good things for preschool. It has been one of my favorites," Legassie said of the magazine.

Legassie's teaching career spans 21 years -- 15 of those she has been a regular and special education preschool teacher.

She currently teaches at the district's only preschool, First Steps Preschool, located on the Julia Randall Elementary School campus.

Clifford the Big Red Dog's four-page magazine for preschoolers comes out twice a month.

The advisory position earned her a three-day, all-expenses paid trip to New York City to discuss magazine concepts and composition.

Amanda Miller, Clifford's editor, wanted the teachers to evaluate the issues they had already used. Miller then wanted the teachers to review future issues and discuss ways that the magazine could be improved. Miller wanted to know specifically, "Is the topic appropriate for the time of year? Does the topic fit in with what you are teaching? Is there a different topic that would better meet you curriculum needs?"

Legassie and another teacher she met on the advisory board have planned for their students to be pen pals next year.

After the all-day meetings Legassie and the other advisers were treated to excursions around the Big Apple.

Legassie said she had a blast at her first Broadway show, "The Producers."

At 2:30 in the morning she ran into the actor Jeff Goldblum and had her picture taken with him.

"He was so nice," she said.

"I just can't begin to tell you how well Scholastic treated us," Legassie said. "Everything was top of the line. Any receipt they wanted us to return to them.

"It was really a special trip for me," said Legassie. "I never stopped smiling the whole three days."

The magazine teaches children to associate words with pictures.

Legassie's students read about summer safety on their last day of preschool.

"It was so awesome," Legassie said. "I got to make all these points with real pictures and the kids were right there focused and picking up the concepts as well as enjoying the magazine."

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