First-graders filed into the cafeteria on Tuesday morning carrying a chair and a creation of theirs.
The students were there for a publishing party, a group event where they could share stories they wrote and illustrated with members of the Pilot Point Elementary School administration and staff.
“Do you have everything you need? Do you have your books?” first grade teacher Kasie Morgan asked the group.
“Yes!” they called back.
“Do you have a pen for them to give you compliments?” she asked.
The kids said they did, with one saying she had two.
“Do you have your name tag so people know your name? Do you have your book box?” Morgan asked.
The boxes, which the kids decorated, were for holding multiple books because the students were instructed to write a series of related stories in the realistic fiction genre.
“So, you’re going to be able to tell them, ‘These are all the books in my’ what?” Morgan said.
“Series,” the kids responded.
The staff members filtered into the room as their schedule allowed.
“They get so excited when it’s time to share,” Assistant Principal Angie Jurecka said as she walked up to the tables where the authors were sitting.
Morgan encouraged the students to practice patience as they waited for their next guest to stop at their station to hear their stories.
“When you are not reading to someone, you are looking at your own book and you are practicing,” she said.
She also encouraged the kids to “read loud and proud.”
As the adults moved about the room, the kids took their turn reading their stories and answering questions about what they made.
To help bring in more visitors, PPES Principal RaeAnn Strittmatter took to the PA system.
“Teachers and staff, pardon the interruption, but we have a great thing going on in the cafeteria right now,” she said. “Our first-grade authors are in there. They’ve all written a book and would love if anybody in the school can come and listen to a few of them.”
Megan Hinson, one of the first grade teachers, said the event means a lot to the students.
It was the fourth of its kind and the third time it was held in the cafeteria.
She said the event gives the students a chance to experience the feeling of being a successful writer and even to practice their public speaking skills.
“It’s a very abstract concept for them to realize, ‘I am an author,’” she said. “‘I am an author.’ That’s kind of why we do it.”