Students in one first-grade class from Bains Lower Elementary School in St. Francisville had the experience of being published authors during a signing party to celebrate their book “Our Pets” on March 4.

Each member of Natasha Hayes’ class enjoyed reading their contribution to the book for an audience of family and friends, followed by a book signing before they got to enjoy a party with cake and refreshments to celebrate their achievement.

A total of 20 copies of the book were self-published by Hayes’ class, one for each student and a teacher’s copy. Another copy was ordered for the school library.

Parents paid for all costs of the book, which was printed by Student Treasures Publishing.

“We write anyway, so this is something we already do, and they were able to see how much they’ve changed from the beginning of the year until now,” said Hayes, who has been with the school for three years.

The students were able to see their names as well as their artwork in print, and Hayes believes the experience has made a lasting impression on them.

“The kids wrote their own piece and their own illustrations,” Hayes said. “They learned if they don’t put any limits on themselves, they can go as far as they want to.”