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Tweenies and Preschoolers at Sugar Grove Developmental Day School Become Published Authors, Writing and Illustrating Their Own Books

The children posed with their published book for their parents and teachers before going on to appear at their very own book signing. Photo by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz.

By Andrea Rodriguez-ortiz

In Sugar Grove, North Carolina, 27 young children have just published their first book. Between the ages of two and five, the children at Sugar Grove Developmental Day School were able to conceptualize, write, and illustrate their own book as a class. Thanks to Studentreasures Publishing, a company that provided free publishing kits to the classes, the students were able to craft a memory that will last a lifetime.

The Tweenies’ book titled Our Train Adventures contains eleven different train stories, ranging from trains filled with nuggets to transportation for friends. Photo by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz.

The Tweenies and Preschool classes wrote and illustrated two separate books. The Tweenies, ages two to three, put together a book titled Our Train Adventures. Each student was asked what they would do with a train: Where would it go? What would it be moving? These questions prompted responses from all points on the spectrum. Some kids used their trains solely for the transportation of fries and nuggets, and others used their train to visit their friends! Next to each page of text, the Tweenies were given artistic freedom in representing their train adventures.

The Preschoolers’ book titled How to do almost Everything contains instructions on how to complete fifteen different tasks, ranging from how to build a snowman to how to be a good big brother! Photo by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz.

The Preschoolers, ages three to five, constructed a “how to” guide titled How to do almost Everything. In the Preschoolers’ book, the students were asked to tell the teachers how to complete a task of their choice. Like the Tweenies, the Preschoolers were creative in their responses. Some examples of tasks included in the book are: how to build a snowman, how to be a good big brother, and how to get dressed. Illustrations appeared next to the text as visuals on how to do the task at hand.

​The children wouldn’t stop smiling for the camera, any camera! With a sparkly backdrop and plenty of props, the kids were basking in their newfound fame. Photo by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz.

The two classes had complete freedom in choosing what their own topics would be. Because of this, each book encompassed all kinds of personalities and ideas. The lead teachers at Sugar Grove Developmental Day School, Ms. Amanda for the Tweenies and Ms. Brittany for the Preschoolers, were impressed with the imaginations of the children. Everyone at the school enjoyed watching the children grow in their love for reading and writing through this hands-on activity.

Teachers at Sugar Grove Developmental Day School were excited about the release of the children’s new book. Over the course of two weeks, both the students and teachers worked hard to make the books happen! (Top row, from left to right: Ms. Sherry, Ms. Ariel, Ms. Amanda, and Ms. Heather. Bottom row, from left to right: Ms. Sierra, Ms. Brittany, and Ms. Amanda). Photo by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz.

On July 11th, 2018, the Sugar Grove Developmental Day School held a publishing party and book signing event for the child authors. During the party, the children played with their fellow authors while wearing “VIP Author” badges. In addition to a book reading from the lead teachers of the classes, the children posed for pictures in front of a backdrop, sporting costumes and signs saying “Published Author” and “I am Famous!”

The children posed for pictures in front of a backdrop, sporting costumes. Photo by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz.

The most rewarding part of the night however, seemed to be the book signing the teachers had planned for the little ones. The children shuffled about the school asking their friends to sign their books. In this moment, parents and teachers were able to see the pride on their children’s faces. The activity is a memory that will surely be remembered forever as the children will always have a copy of their book to remind them of their huge accomplishment.

The children posed with signs saying “Published Author.” Photo by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz.

The teachers and staff at Sugar Grove Developmental Day School guided the children over two weeks in the creation of their books. In the end, the books resulted not only in a beautiful hardcover copy as a keepsake for the children, but laughs and smiles from students, teachers, and parents.

​Ms. Amanda and Ms. Heather taking advantage of the photo props at the event supporting the newly published authors. Photo by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz.

The accomplished authors of the Tweenies’ book, Our Train Adventures, are Samuel Warren, Caleb Branton, Henry Freeman, Easton Hodges, Derek McKinney, Sawyer Moore, Lawson Powell, Skylar Vincent, Katie Ward, Mayer Hodge, and August Pineda.

The proud authors of the Preschoolers’ book, How to do almost Everything, include Fina Mae Snider, Brody Hawkins, Vivi Waterworth, Huck Childers, Leo Montelongo, Jada Johnson, Austin Clarke, Gus Blair, Donnia Daoust, Kai McMann, Maya Lindberg, Abdul Aljehaiman, Maddie Stumb, Christopher Massengill, and Parker Delaney.

More Photos by Andrea Rodriguez-Ortiz:

At the publishing party for the release of their first book, the children of Sugar Grove Developmental Day School couldn’t sit still from excitement.
At the publishing party, a table sported photo props and giveaway items for the children and their families.
Probably the most rewarding moment of the night was watching the child authors autograph their own and their friends’ books. Teachers and parents alike couldn’t stop snapping photos of the proud authors.
Ms. Ariel and Ms. Brittany flashing proud smiles for the crowd with a star author.