Students at Gardner Bullis School became published authors and saw their finished products for the first time at the school’s inaugural BookQuest March 2.
After learning of Almond School’s similar BookWave event last year, Gardner Bullis parents Anna Kermani and Elaine Wang were inspired to launch a program at their school.
Working with Studentreasures Publishing, Kermani and Wang visited the school’s classrooms to gauge students’ interest in creating their own literary masterpieces.
If a student expressed interest, he or she purchased a publishing kit. For each publishing kit purchased, Kermani and Wang contributed $5 to the school, a total of $630, to be donated to the charity of the school council’s choice.
After receiving their kits, students had two months on their own to complete their books.
The final products varied based on the kids’ personal desires. Some students wrote chapter books, others hand-wrote and illustrated their own fictional stories. One student documented, with photos, his family trip to India; another wrote about the world’s cutest animals.
“In my house, there definitely were some tears that went into the project,” Wang said. “It’s not easy to finish a book, and I feel like it helps the children to appreciate the work that goes into creating a book.”
Kermani agreed that the experience was a positive one.
“The pride – you can see it in their eyes,” she said.
Participating students debuted their final products March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Day.
The entire school community was invited to the premiere event to see the 71 published pieces. Student authors shared their stories with their peers, school staff and parents.
“It is so interesting to see where kids take their imagination,” Wang said. “We saw really bright illustrations, and some focused on the story itself. It was a very individual project.”
To encourage the budding writers, children’s author Gennifer Choldenko gave a brief presentation about her life as an author.
Overall, Wang and Kermani said they were pleased with the outcome of the project and hope to continue it next year with even more student participation.
“It encourages them to read, create and write,” Kermani said. “It’s a fun project for them that gives them a sense of accomplishment.”
For more information on Studentreasures Publishing, visit studentreasures.com.