Berry School Students DO Know Jack! ~ By Wendy Mitchell
Whoodathunk a bunch of second graders could become published authors? Meredith Ledney, that’s who!
Last year Meredith Ledney, mother of Berry School third grader Matthew Ledney, came across a contest from Scholastic online that piqued her interest. She approached her son’s teacher Mrs. Degruttolo who was happy to participate, despite the red tape of release forms and other legal issues when kids are involved.
Scholastic’s rules stated they students had to write the story themselves with the help of a facilitator. The students went to work and wrote the story Jack Loves To Help. The winning prize of the Scholastic contest was 100 free copies of the book and of course bragging rights. Ledney said the rules also stated they had to sign over the rights of the book and would receive no royalties.
The story was entered and the students didn’t win, but that didn’t stop Ledney from pressing forward with getting their story published. She called Scholastic and asked for manuscript back and she got it, “which was nice because they don’t’ usually do that,” she said.
Ledney began scouring the Internet for self-publishing options. It took a year to find a way to put it together but this past month she completed her original mission.
“The kids and my son thought it was cool and are really excited,” she said.
The book follows Jack through his everyday experiences and encourages children to help their neighbors while helping the earth. The book is written by children for children and will show readers how rewarding helping others can be.
The student authors of Mrs. Degruttolo’s 2nd Grade Class of 2009-2010 who wrote Jack Loves To Help included Priscilla Camacho, Jacob Creiner, Alexander Illescas, Nizar Khawam, Hailey Kinsman, Matthew Ledney, Diana Lindsay, Anastina Marcantonio, Quentin Marcus, Laura Nilsen, Vassa Rezvaya, Kyra Rubin, Nathan Sprock, Michael Tovey, Remy Van Vliet, Emma Vucinaj, David Watson, other direction by Meredith Pickel Ledney.
To purchase a copy of Jack Loves To Help click here.