WARREN — There are many sides to local news anchor Devin Scillian.
He’s recognizable from reporting the news each night on Channel 4, but he’s also a published children’s author and a musician.
“Whether it’s books or singing or journalism, it’s all about stories,” Scillian said.
The news reporter visited Wilde Elementary School the afternoon of March 6 in observance of March Is Reading Month. Wilde is part of Warren Consolidated Schools.
While Scillian talked about his career in journalism, he also told the students about his love for writing children’s book. So far, 13 books he’s written have been published, including his most recent, “Memoirs of a Goldfish.”
“A post-lunch elementary crowd is always dangerous,” Scillian joked as the students entered the gymnasium and settled in for his presentation. He visits schools on a regular basis. Wilde media specialist Naomi Roberg waited 10 years for the news anchor to visit the school.
“How often do we get a TV personality who also is a famous children’s author?” she asked the students while introducing the television journalist. “Next year, when watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, you can say he came to our school.”
Scillian’s first published book was “Fibblestax.” He’ll never forget the day the mail carrier dropped off the boxes of books at his house.
“It was one of the best days of my life,” the children’s author said, admitting he had a tear in his eye. “I could not believe somebody wanted to take (my) words and publish them.”
Reading was always important to Scillian. His favorite book as a kid was “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George. Each time he’s in a store or library, Scillian always checks to see if the book is in stock.
“I just want to know it’s still there. Books are powerful stuff,” the married father of four said. “When we spend time reading a book it is so personal. We all see the books, slightly different and our mind fills in lots of gaps.”
While walking around the gym, he read “Memoirs of a Goldfish” to the students, which had them laughing out loud at some points.
“I don’t know what fish think about,” Scillian said. “That’s what the story is about.”
He said he writes late at night and encouraged the students to write in a place or at a time that feels right to them.
Scillian, wearing a Salt Lake City 2002 vest, kicked off the presentation talking about his career with Channel 4.
“When I first started being on television I thought, ‘This is just the bomb,’” the self-described “political junkie” said, adding he has traveled throughout the world, including reporting from the Olympics from various years. The students became really excited when they learned two things: he visited Sydney, Australia, and he met President Barack Obama.
But “even with all the places I’ve been, even with all the people I’ve met, the coolest thing I have done is right here,” he said while holding up “Memoirs of a Goldfish.”
“It has won a ton of awards,” Roberg said.
Scillian’s books are in the Wilde library, and before his presentation, he personally autographed them. He also signed the books students purchased to take home. His books are available at www.amazon.com.
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