The last time I shared my progress on my blog, I never expected this would actually get published, but now it's starting to become a reality! Although I haven't selected a publisher (but I've narrowed it down to two!) or a professional artist, I have raised over $1,000 to publish the book and donate it to elementary schools in Georgia. I am so grateful for all the people who have helped me get to this point, and I am so excited to work together with so many kind people to change the lives of so many through this book!
If you have a little time to read, here's pictures of my book! Please enjoy the beautiful illustrations by Cece Colwel!
Here is the video of me reading the book to my students! It was a great experience, and I was able to connect the book with what the students were learning, which is why I talk about the colored zones. The different colors represent different emotions!
Today I got the chance to go back to Mrs. Hart's classroom, and time seemed to fly by! I really missed working with these kids because they are so special. I watched Mrs. Hart teacher her social group lesson, and she did such a great job! I was so impressed with her ability to connect her work to the students. One day, I want to be just like her! I got the opportunity to read my book to the students, and when I read it I was reminded of why I wrote it in the first place: because these kids need the help, and as I read it I felt like I inspired them. It felt like I really made a difference and explained to them why it's important, especially as I connected what I learned with the topics that Mrs. Hart had been teaching. Now, I want to share my book with more kids, and to every special behavior child. It isn't about winning an award at a competition. It is about changing lives, and for me, I feel like I have started to accomplish that: one Spunktacular and Special student at a time! I am working to upload a video. :)
I brought my finished book to the Educators Rising Competition, but it unfortunately didn't win an award. It was a little devastating because I felt like my hard work amounted to nothing, especially because I didn't receive adequate feedback. My score on the writing was a 14/20, which surprised me because the few comments I received were positive. But, if I were to edit this book, I would be cautious with my grammar and target kids' interests to make it more relatable to all students, not only those who struggle with behavior disorders. I think this would bring a new perspective to the text, as not all students struggle. It also could be possible to transform the problem of exclusion to something else. Although this was not a success for me, I am hopeful that I can use this experience to better influence my writing in the future and the students that it impacts.
The artist is starting to work on the pictures, and I am SO excited! But, every time I see Mrs. Hart, I want to tell her about the book, but I need to keep it a surprise! AHH!
It took me a long time to discover what I had wanted to call it, but I decided Spunktacular and Special School Supplies. This adds the "s" sound for alliteration, and it represents the unique qualities of each supply! I also found an illustrator, Cece Colwell, an artist who has a passion for drawing with chalk and drawing cartoons. Her work is amazing, and I am so excited to see the final product!
I haven't updated this blog page because my story wasn't something that took months to do. One day, my story just came to me, and my fingers couldn't stop typing. I have about 23 pages in my story, but that will need to be edited, and I will also need to find an artist to draw pictures. I am considering contacting a publishing company, but that might be a difficult challenge!
Here comes all the fun I do have to say, as the story's beginning to run on its way! The characters are not animals, students, or food, but rather they are school supplies all ready to work! Here is a preview of who the characters are:
Rosy Crayon- Brave little girl who prefers to do her own thing
Silly Stapler- A tad bit clumsy and is always stapling when she gets excited
Hot Head Red Scissors- Doesn’t know how to do when he gets angry!
Gilly Glue- Attempts to draw like the crayons, but always makes things sticky
Twisty Eraser top- Always judges what other supplies are doing
The theme of the story will travel something along the lines of accepting who you are, but learning how to love oneself even on the bad days! But, most of my influences come from a behavior unit from Britton and Ridgewood elementary schools, as many of those students don't show themselves the true gratitude they deserve. Hopefully, this book can help these children not only love themselves, but help them get better! Currently, I am looing for an artist who would be interested in drawing my pictures! If anyone knows someone who might be interested let me know!