“A” is for award
TES third-grade class’ published book on alphabet wins prestigious recognition
Third-graders at Tonganoxie Elementary School have published a book that soon will be seen across the nation.
Students in Karen Stockman's class participated in Thursday's publishing party at TES. Students from several classrooms celebrated their books being published by Nationwide Learning Inc., a Topeka company that has published books for TES classes - and other classes from preschool through college across the United States - the last several years.
Stockman knew her class' book, "K is for Kansas," was a national finalist in Nationwide Learning's national contest. That meant the book was one of 125 out of some 600,000 to be considered a finalist.
At Thursday's party, Nationwide Learning representative Anita Dougherty announced Stockman's class made the final cut - the top 25 in the country - for the contest. Copies of the book will be printed and distributed this year to Nationwide Learning's prospective clients.
"I think it's great," said Dougherty after the celebration. "It's an honor to be selected."
"It's very exciting," she said. "The kids are just thrilled. We worked so hard on that project, and, to see it succssful, it's very gratifying for the students and myself."
Stockman said the book's inspiration came from illustrator Doug Bowles, who spoke to the class earlier in the school year. Bowles published the book "S is for Sunflower."
The process of publishing the book was a lengthy one, Stockman said. The project started in January. Initially, the class worked daily on the project, but eventually it became a weekly project. And, the day before spring break started in March, their work was sent to Topeka for publication.
The book consists of 26 pages, one for each letter of the alphabet.
For "F," the students selected the word "fish." On that page, students explained their work on another class project - their push at the Statehouse in Topeka to make the bluegill the official fish of the state of Kansas.
House Bill 2158 has been referred to the agriculture and natural resources budget. As Stockman called it, the bill is at "an impasse."
However, Nationwide Learning has agreed to make three extra copies, free of charge, for the class. Students will autograph the book and include a Kansas bookmark that will be placed next to the bluegill page. The books will be sent to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, as well as local representatives Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, and Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing.
Stockman noted she hoped the books would show legislators and the governor that students have put a great deal of work into their prize-winning book and are dedicated to still making the bluegill the state's official fish.
For being selected in the top 25 in the nation, Stockman's class will receive a gift award of $100.
The third-grade teacher is unsure what the money will go toward. She's discussed the topic with administrators, fellow teachers and students, but hasn't made a decision yet.