Elementary School students become authors

BALTIMORE, Md. - Students at Hope Academy Huber Memorial Child Development Center in East Baltimore are working on a writing assignment.  The assignments led to students publishing their own books to become authors.

It's part of the Young Authors Project.

"I think every mode of communication is important and many people are reluctant to write.  Writing is so fantastic. It's a wonderful way to share what you are thinking or feeling," said Dr. Kimberly Evans Douglas, Principal at Hope Academy.

Hope Academy serves pre k to fifth grade students.  The school is a ministry of Huber Memorial Church.  This is the first year students have published a book.  They are very excited about it.

"Having something that I wrote published made me feel great. I love the idea of seeing my book just like you would see a book in a library and one day I would like for everybody else to see my book," said Alicia Linthicum- Amos, fifth grade student.

"It makes me feel kind of great knowing that I am an author and seeing my book in a library and kids reading it and enjoying it.  It makes me feel real good," said Uzziah Bird, fifth grader.

Administrators say this project is important for students because it pulls together reading and oral communication.  Teachers encourage students to express themselves through writing and it's working.

"I want them to be able to read well, express themselves orally and in writing and to appreciate the works of other people," said Dr. Kimberly Evans Douglas.

Here's how the program works:  for kindergarten to second graders, there is a class book.  Third to fifth graders write individual books.  Students get a sense of how it feels to write, publish and edit a book.

"I wrote about my ten years of life and I drew some pictures because I am an artist and I like to draw.  I tell about my life and how I came through school and how I have my talents," said Alicia Linthicum-Amos.

Some students are not quite sure if they want to become an author, but for now it's a hands on learning tool to develop an appreciation for reading and writing.

Scholastics publishes the students books.  Students and teachers receive a free copy of the books and parents can buy the books.

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