Fair Oaks Elementary School students have dipped their pens into the publishing world. Under the guidance and direction of Computer Lab Educator Theresa Gassaway, eight Fair Oaks Falcons recently had books published.
The Fair Oaks educator shared she learned of Studentreasures Publishing through Scholastic Books and decided to share it with the school’s Journalism group. The group meets twice weekly as part of the after school recreation program.
“This taught them a lot about time management and deadlines,” Gassaway said.
She noted that, in addition to working on the books, the students were also responsible for working on the school yearbook, as well as a newsletter.
The book project began in September with a deadline of February. Students were encouraged to create original ideas either independently or with a partner for their books. Through the Scholastic program they were able to create books which were handwritten, created on the computer or a combination of both.
“In the beginning there were so many ideas,” Gassaway said. “A lot of going back and forth on what they wanted to write about. It was a learning curve for me as well.”
Fourth grader Avery Gleason learned a bit about time management as well as her chosen book topic as she researched varying animals for her publication.
“I love animals,” Avery said. “So I decided to write facts down in a book. They’re so interesting that I could look at them and study them all day.”
Avery shared she has an interest in working with animals when she grows up. Of the many things she learned during her research, one which stood out was that orangutans are not part of the monkey family.
Of the eight student authors, publications varied from research inspired, to poems, to collaborative group pieces inspired by Harry Potter books.
“I wrote poems and a few stories to teach morals to other kids,” sixth grader Grayson Hayden-Myer stated, noting she enjoyed the experience so much, she’ll miss not having the opportunity to return to the class next year.
“I kind of just went with the flow,” she said of her thought process and inspiration. “So, whatever I thought fit, I just went with it.”
As a new addition to her after school program, Gassaway shared she was pleased with the ultimate outcome for the students. She intends to bring it back to the group next year in the fall making one modification by guiding students to work together on collaborative pieces.
“I think it was a great experience,” Grayson said.