‘Father Goose’ visits Helena Intermediate

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–All of the fifth graders and half of the fourth grade class at Helena Intermediate School eagerly filed into the HIS cafeteria on Thursday, Feb. 9 as Charles Ghigna, or simply known as “Father Goose,” entertained the students and inspired them to dream big, especially when it relates to writing.

Ghigna, a Homewood resident, is an accomplished author who has produced more than 5,000 poems and 100 award-winning children’s books. Ghigna also travels the country to visit a variety of elementary and intermediate schools to present an entertaining and engaging show based around writing and imagination.

“Every time you open a new book it becomes a magic carpet ride,” Ghigna said to the students. “You have so many ideas inside of you. If you can talk you can write.”

Ghigna told the story of how he became “Father Goose” in that many years ago when he first started to visit schools to present poetry programs, students and teachers began calling him the name, as it was a lot easier to say than Ghigna. The Walt Disney Company actually suggested Ghigna use the moniker for one of his first books and the nickname has stuck ever since.

Ghigna discussed the importance of having a good title when it comes to any poem or book and Ghigna called on student volunteers to suggest titles for a poem about falling asleep and dreaming.

HIS students responded with titles such as “Dream Bed,” “No Bed Like My Bed,” and more as Ghigna praised the students on their creativity.

For the majority of the presentation Ghigna read excerpts and poems from his books that used a variety of rhymes including riddle rhymes.

Ghigna answered questions at the end of the presentation and when asked what first inspired him to write, Ghigna said “a teacher.”

After the presentation, HIS students checked out a variety of Ghigna’s books at the HIS library as “Father Goose” signed the books of each student with a personal message.

For more information on Charles Ghigna and his work, visit Fathergoose.com.