Second graders publish book

Pictured are the authors in Rogers Elementary School second grade teacher Tommy Smith’s class. 

A group of second graders at Rogers Elementary School in Waterloo recently did something most adults have not done. 

The students became published authors. 

“It’s great because we all wrote it and we’re just kids,” Emma Newsome said while smiling the entire time. 

The children are students in Tommy Smith’s class at the school. 

Each year, they complete a writing project called “If… I was trapped in a snow globe.” 

Smith decided to take that project up a notch this year after being inspired by another teacher. 

“We wanted to do a little more and actually write a book,” he said. 

In the book, which has the same title as the assignment, each student was responsible for two pages. 

On one page, the students wrote about what they would do if they were trapped in a snow globe. On another page, they illustrated their story. 

The assignment, which took about two weeks, was one of the longer ones for students. 

That work was all worth it, however, when Smith decided to get the students’ book published through StudentTreasures Publishing. 

“It’s a long, drawn-out process, but it was worth it when we got the book,” Smith said. 

The students, who were extremely enthusiastic for the book, agreed with that assessment. 

“They were really excited,” Smith said. “I kept telling them ‘the books are going to be here, the books are going to be here.’ And when we got them yesterday they were just so excited to see them.” 

With books in hand, the students had a number of reasons why they enjoyed the project so much.

“It’s cool,” Rachel Eller said. “I get to see my face in my own book.” 

“It makes me happy because I’m an author,” Kamden Kaufman added.

“I like it,” Olvia Kaminski agreed. 

Other students saw this as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. 

“It’s fame and fortune,” Ryan Gagliardi said. 

“I like it because I’m going to show my parents,” Leona Mercer said. 

Other students simply enjoyed seeing their time and effort pay off. 

“It’s great because I could write (and illustrate) my own pages,” Aiden Myers said. 

“It’s awesome because of all the hard work I did,” Ryland Sides seconded. 

The students plan to read their book to another class in the school, but for the most part only their friends and family will be able to read it because there are only enough copies for Smith’s pupils. 

Smith can order more, but he said the book has already paid dividends for him as a teacher. 

“You take a lot of pride in their work, seeing how hard they work on it,” he explained. “The excitement and the hard work made it all worth it when they saw the finished product.” 

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James Moss

James is an alumni of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mass communications and applied communications studies. While in school, he interned at two newspapers and worked at a local grocery store to pay for his education. When not working for the Republic-Times, he enjoys watching movies, reading, playing video games and spending time with his friends.
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