Are you coming to the party?

Hi everyone,

It’s time to start getting serious about a special upcoming event. This is repeated information but I need to say it again..

The date is set. On the evening of August 11, 2023, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the book, WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR.

This was one of my all-time favorite projects. With the full support of our public school system, I formed a committee of more than fifteen teachers and we asked the district’s 24,000 students Prek-12 and 2,400 staff members to finish the prompt, “What I’ve learned so far is…

More than 12,000 students and staff responded. My committee and I pared the contributions down to 1,100. After students illustrated the book, I had it printed in Cassville, Missouri, got it copyrighted, registered it with the Library of Congress, obtained an ISBN number, and we started selling our masterpiece. It was by every measurement a runaway success.

Add 30 years to those K-12 kids (and many of their teachers) from 1993, and there will be many fascinating stories to share. Our goal is to fill the hall (location to be named soon) with authors of that well-loved book. The more the better! If you live in the area, plan on attending. If you’ve moved away, plan a trip to Springfield in August so you can join the fun. I just spoke to one your classmates who now lives on the other side of the world. She can’t make the party but wanted me to know that WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR was a project that she remembers fondly from her high school days at Kickapoo.

For more information and updates leading up to the celebration, please send a note to Natalie Murdock at and copy me at This will be an unique kind of reunion. Don’t miss the fun!

Off to a good start

Hi everyone,

I was glad to hear from so many authors and illustrators of WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR yesterday when I announced the party on August 11, 2023 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the book. I want to set up a way to keep track of you and make sure you receive an official invitation to the event when the time comes. I’ll get with NATALIE MURDOCK, Executive Director of The Foundation for Public Schools, and work on a plan.

In the meantime, be sure you mark the date on your calendar and stay in touch with me here for further word. And also, please keep sharing the word with your own social media and/or directly with those you think might be interested!

What I’ve Learned So Far

Hi everyone,

In 1993, I did a book sponsored by the Springfield Public Schools Foundation that featured responses from students and teachers of Springfield Public Schools to the prompt: What I’ve learned so far…

Springfield’s public school district is the largest in the state of Missouri and currently includes more than 25,000 students. In 1993, the total was 24,000. I helped start the Foundation so at a meeting I pitched the book idea as a way to help promote the work of the Foundation while at the same time encouraging SPS students to think and write. With board approval and the $10,000 backing to do the book, I went to the Superintendent with the project, he approved wholeheartedly. With his blessing I met with the Associate Superintendents for primary and secondary schools plus some key players. The book idea was endorsed and I was given the green light to go forward.

I’m skipping a lot of details and tons of meetings, but in the end half of the district’s students responded to my prompt. I asked for and got a committee of fifteen teachers who acted as my editorial board. With their wonderful support, we divided the 12,000 submissions into groups and selected our top picks. I was eventually able to publish 1,100 quotes in the book, which was printed locally and ran 160 pages.

We held signing parties when the book came out. Young authors sat at tables around the room and proudly inscribed the page on which their work appeared. By all measurements the book was a great success. A few years later I did a similar book to raise money for CASA when I was serving on that board. For some reason this morning I was thinking about the original WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR and decided to share some of my favorite quotes from nearly 28 years ago.

From What I’ve Learned So Far . . .
Edited by David L. Harrison
Springfield Public Schools Foundation
What I’ve learned so far is . . .

(Age 4) Not to wipe slobber on my daddy’s shirt.
(Age 5) You can eat a chicken if you kill it.
(Age 6) Cats only have six lives.
(Age 7) Think before you glue.
(Age 8) Boys are worse than I thought.
(Age 9) You can’t keep a boy and girl hamster together.
(Age 10) I can go with eight girls at a time without any of them knowing it.
(Age 11) I like money and I don’t have it.
(Age 12) It’s not hard to kick three boys at once.
(Age 13) If you’re making a C in art, life goes on.
(Age 14) No matter how hard you pray, God won’t clean your room for you.

Interviews and auctions

Hi everyone,

The webinar last week with Laura Backes of Kitlit Distancing Social is now available in their archives. If you know someone who might like to watch it, please pass this link along. To those who saw the original or replay and decided to follow my blog, I thank you again and hope you will enjoy what you find here.

Kidlit Distancing Social #21 Replay – An Evening with Legendary Children’s Poet David Harrison

Also, today is the silent auction where I’m up for bids.

Want to buy me? I’m up for auction.

Hi everyone,

To help raise funds for the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools, I’m to be auctioned off as shown in this link.

I did this once before and brought $1,500 when two groups competed for me. I don’t know if I can hope for that to happen again, but all we can do is try. If you want to make a bid or pass this information on to others who might, I’ll appreciate it. Thank you!