Paul Supports Literacy By Sponsoring ‘Author Visits’ With Colorado Author Teresa Funke

There are few big reasons why I sponsor Teresa Funke’s Author Visits to Schools. 

The first is because I’ve seen Teresa’s in action during a presentation. She brings literature to life in her talks by painting a verbal picture about the true past of Greeley, Fort Morgan, Fort Collins and other Colorado towns during the WWII era. She peels back layer upon layer of history and, through story, shows how it directly connects to Northern Colorado—our people, our towns and our culture.

Internment camps and POW (Prisoners of War) Camps had populations of thousands in the mid 1940’s in Colorado towns like Greeley, Granada and more. Many of their descendants live and thrive in Colorado to this day.

See information about POW Camp 202 that held German Prisoners in Greeley During WWII.

As Teresa begins to talk about the people in these camps, showing them for the individual humans they are; and introduces the network of Coloradans that kept them, fed them, cared for them, came to know them, and sometimes fell in love and married them, world history unfolds like a colorful tapestry. Teresa brings literacy to our young people by telling stories of real history through love, war, reconciliation, toil, tears and laughter. As they come to understand the personal stake they have in history by virtue of living here, students become more interested in and more involved in the events of our past and the literature that relates it. Teresa’s writing and presenting encourages kids to actually pick up books, and put pen to paper.

Critical Thinking

The second reason I support Teresa is because literacy is key to critical thinking. To survive this next century with any modicum of sanity, I think that the general population of this planet is going to need to sharpen our critical thinking skills. Why? Glad you asked.

  • The sheer number of messages that bombard us every day has grown to an alarming amount. ALARMING! The scope and possible affect of it could be horrifying or inspirational, depending on your viewpoint, and how things eventually play out.
    • The Inspirational – The Internet could be a force that improves condition for a large part of humanity. It is so powerful that if it were ever used for its highest purpose, it be a channel that could solve many  problems that we face. Connecting all humans so that we can communicate with one another, share our conditions, show pictures and video of what is happening around us could be a force that lowers the amount of needless suffering on this planet. The Internet and the connection of all people could and hopefully will be a force that enriches the lives of all humanity, because it actually allows more of humanity to share their experience in an authentic way. If we want help, we should ask other humans. There has never been any force that has connected more humans to communicate with and help each other like the Internet.
    • The Horrifying – The barrier to entry to put an idea out into the world is now non-existent. Anyone can say anything they want and can broadcast it to many, many people. Truth is hard to find when we are allowed to say anything we want. Simply put, the Internet can help to spread horrible ideas and causes.

Enter Critical Thinking

In this age of the Internet it is our personal responsibility to be able to think critically so that as we are bombarded by trillions of messages, we can discern what is true, what is false, and what is in a gray area and needs further consideration, study or reflection.

It is our personal responsibility to be able to understand and wade through the messaging that is promoting every viewpoint imaginable. We need to be able to make personal decisions about what we believe and what we don’t believe, and those decisions are best made with the truth as our basis of fact.

If the truth shall set us free, as I believe it will, our personal responsibility is to be able to think critically enough that we have a fighting chance of taking all the information that is constantly coming at us and reconcile it into some sort of truth that works for us, our communities, our planet and our universe.

There is no 1,2,3 system in determining truth. But I know this, the more literate we are, the better chance we have at determining truth. The more literate we are, the more truth exposes itself to us.

We need a deeper literacy in this day and age. All of us need to sharpen our critical thinking skills, because without the ability to think critically, we can more easily fall victim to being controlled by our emotions, coming to believe in things that we wished were true, instead of things that are true.

That is why I support Teresa. Because she and I both champion literacy.

Author Teresa Funke speaks at High Hops Brewery in Winsdor, Colorado, part of Poudre Heritage Alliance Poudre Pub Talks

What Teresa Does

Since Teresa writes fiction that brings to life the true history of Colorado towns during WWII (and other time periods), she goes into schools and talks about how real events inspired the stories in her books.

No need to have me explain it. She does it perfectly on her website,

Teresa is a nationally known author and writer’s coach. She has been writing and publishing for more than 22 years and loves helping young writers realize that every child has a voice, a story, and the power to change the world! Teresa believes that in order to raise writing and literacy scores, students must first connect to those subjects in a personal way. Only then will processes like revision become more appealing. Teresa’s writing workshops tie to the standards, are grade appropriate, and are based on teacher input. Her real strength, though, lies in her ability to read her audience or individual students and adapt to their needs. Teresa’s flexibility and her vast experience as a professional speaker and writer’s coach allows you to build the visit that best suits your school’s or classroom’s needs.

I’m proud to join some great local organizations in supporting Teresa Funke’s Author Visit program. I want to give a special shout out to my good friend and co-sponsor Sonia Cooper of Cooper and Holly, who, through Worth Unlimited, helps people realize that those who are not in debt are happier with their lives!

If you’d like to support Teresa, please contact her through her website. 

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