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Windham students may become published authors

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 3:43 pm

Windham Elementary School students may be getting a children’s book published.

The students in Windham’s Literary Club have written and illustrated a book for submission in the Scholastic Kids Are Authors contest.

Every year, Scholastic hosts the competition to encourage students grades kindergarten through eighth to use their reading, writing and artistic skills to work in teams and create a book.

This year, Windham is participating for the first time.

Special services teacher and project coordinator Barbara Smith said she thought the contest would be fun for the kids and way for them to get experience in writing.

The school hosted a contest in October where five illustrators and five writers were selected for the project.

The writers on the project are: fourth grader Jayden Foulk, fifth graders Emilia Smith and Julia Hixson, and sixth graders Taz’sha Fintch and Acacia Abbott.

The illustrators are: fourth graders Mackenzi Parks and Angela Beech, and sixth graders Jordon Patterson, Alexandra Trenkler and Lani Duncan.

Every Tuesday and Thursday the group meets from 2-3 p.m.

“The kids put their brains together and they write the story (while) working hand in hand with the illustrators,” Smith said.

The theme the students picked for the story is bullying.

The story titled, “Bullies to Buddies,” follows Gab and Sam who continue to be bullied by Butch and Billy.

During a field trip, the students end up in an enchanted land where the victims help the bullies escape from bad guys.

Ultimately, the bullies learn a lesson that they shouldn’t bully and should change their ways, Smith said.

“Our school here, of course, has zero tolerance for bullying,” she said. “It’s just a good message.”

Smith said the students are hopeful they’ll at least get an honorable mention in the contest.

The competition awards one grand-prize winner in fiction and nonfiction as well as 25 honorable mentions.

The two grand prize winners will be selected for publication and will receive $5,000 in merchandise from Scholastic, 100 copies of their published book, framed award certificates and gold medallions.

The book will also be sold at book fairs throughout the nation.

The honorable mentions will receive $500 in merchandise from Scholastic and student award certificates.

The entry deadline is March 15, and the winners will be announced May 31.

“We have high hopes,” Smith said. “But at the very least it’s an awesome experience for the kids. They’ve worked really hard. They’ve been doing this since November.”

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