Pint-size authors published
Stourbridge Elementary School is now home to a room full of published authors thanks to the group effort of Lori Ahern’s second grade class and the resources of Student Treasures Publishing company.
The group’s book is titled “Kindness Matters to Kids.”
Ahern explained the idea behind this title and the overall theme of the book stems from Stourbridge’s intense commitment to the Rachel’s Challenge initiative.
The class’ devotion is palpable through their kindness chart, a monthly register of kind, unprompted deeds the students perform for others in their class.
Ahern said she hopes Rachel’s Challenge and the class’ random acts of kindness register prompt “a chain reaction of kindness” and lead to other kind acts throughout the year.
To administer the kindness cause into the publication, Ahern had each student select a quote about benevolence to preface their entries.
Each student’s page also featured two sentences chosen from their personal writing journals about what they could do to be kind both at home and in school.
Each individual entry is bound together thematically with a repeated phrase that bolsters the book’s structure.
Opposite the hand-written entries into the book are the students’ original illustrations corresponding with their statements.
Once the book was completed, parents had the option to either pre-order it or purchase a copy after it went to print.
When the finished editions came in, the class celebrated with an Author’s Tea.
Parents were invited to joint them for refreshments, as well as the unboxing and recitation of the book.
“It was pretty exciting for us,” stated Ahern. As recorded in a short video of the event, the children were all elated to see the fruit of their labors made manifest.
Ahern said the book was so well-received by the publisher that it was selected as a finalist for their National Book Challenge.
They wrote to Ahern in a letter stating the book met their criteria for “topic, noteworthy storyline, front cover appeal, interesting illustrations, and following correct publishing guidelines.”
Contest results will be revealed in July.
Should they claim victory, each member of the class and the school library will receive a copy.
A small $100 “higher education cash scholarship” will also be awarded to the winner for use on classroom improvements and supplies.
The winning books also have the potential to be featured in Studentreasures product catalogues, on their website and as sample books delivered with the materials for future classrooms to use when creating their own book.
The class allowed their book to be entered in the contest only after deliberating with parents and receiving their consent.
Ahern said she’d come across the whole project in August 2016 through Scholastic Books. She was excited by the chance to help her students accomplish something she’d heard so many adults regret in life, not having published a book.
Ahern stated it might be worth continuing to do the program in later years seeing how much the students loved it this year.