Union students unveil book collaboration

By DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,

Union Middle School and Union Elementary School students got the opportunity to create their own personal books this spring as they were unveiled at a publishing party in the school cafeteria on Monday morning.

In the fall, UMS seventh grade and eight grade students were paired with a pre-K or first grade student to collaborate on their own children's book.

"The students met about three times together during the fall semester for the younger students to tell their stories to the older students," said UES Principal Deanna Rush. "The older students then polished the stories and typed them up and got back with the younger ones for them to work together to illustrate the stories."

The middle school students then sent the books to Studentreasures Publishing, which bound the stories into hardback books for the younger students to keep. Studentreasures Publishing publishes and bounds individual stories from students around the nation and the project was funded by the Renaissance Festival the middle school students sponsored in the fall.

In addition, the project also helped the middle school students in their narrative writing courses by helping the elementary school students fine tune their stories.

UMS Principal Tyler Hansford said this is the first time the district has done a project like this but said that they hope to continue it in the future.

"At the middle school this year, our focus has been 'be something bigger than yourself,' so we're really looking for ways to expand on that," Hansford said. "We want to grow it from year to year, and maybe we can involve multiple grade levels. I know our kids had a lot of fun with and hopefully the first graders did too."

Each pre-K and first grader was given one copy of the book and all the students enjoyed refreshments.