Zachary — In the course of a school day, students may strive to achieve good grades, look forward to what’s on the lunch menu and anticipate the fun and games recess brings.
For Rollins Place Elementary School students, a school day includes publishing and illustrating books.
The first- and second-graders were lauded at an assembly Friday for publishing the 12-millionth book for Studentreasures, a Kansas-based scholastic publishing company.
Participating classrooms wrote their own book and chose their own topics from the hundreds offered by Studentreasures. Students in each class collaborated on the book, with each contributing a page of text and a page of illustration.
Book titles include “The Best Parts of Louisiana,” written by students in Bonnie Rader’s class, and “The Best Parts of Me.”
Distinctly local in flavor, Aimee Stablier’s homeroom, which is taught writing by teacher Brandie McNabb, collaborated on “The Important Thing About Louisiana” making it the 12 millionth title published by Studentreasures.
The class was asked to design a banner marking the achievement, with first-grader Amari Wells, 7, featured on the banner.
“I was both surprised and excited to learn that our school had the 12 millionth book published. While I was pleased that the company wanted to come celebrate our students’ work, I was most grateful that this event allowed our students time to really think about their books, being authors and being proud of their work,” Principal Jennifer Marangos said. “Confidence as writers will allow them to continue to grow as writers.”
At the assembly, Jayden Lavespere, 7, beamed while reading his brief story about the LSU Tigers.
Madison Albert wrote about cypress trees, while Emma Rogillio read aloud her story about the city of New Orleans. Listening to the stories were classmates, teachers and Studentreasures representatives Chad Zimmerman and Corinne Collins.
“You’re published authors now. That’s quite an achievement,” Zimmerman told students at the assembly. “It’s quite a process writing a book. The great thing about becoming an author is you get to read your book to other people.”
Studentreasures offers the publishing opportunities as a way of engaging students in reading, writing and use of the English language.
The project began in early fall, and in the spring, Rollins Place will write another book collectively as a school, Marangos said.
Rollins Place isn’t the first Zachary school to produce student-authors. Several years ago, Zachary Elementary School students wrote a book about the community from A to Z. Marangos was principal of the school at the time.
As part of the 12 millionth publishing achievement, the school received a $1,000 donation for library books from the publishing company.
Zimmerman asked Rader what the biggest surprise was as students wrote their book.
“I was surprised at how awesome they were, their unique descriptions and good thinking skills. Their words really came to life on paper,” Rader said.