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 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, 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 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.
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 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 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.
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: