TAMPA — There are writers everywhere who would do anything to get a book published.
The kids at Corbett Prep are getting it done before they even reach middle school.
Corbett Prep hosted an event on May 7 where the kids read their books not only to their parents, but more importantly, their pets as well. There were plenty of dogs, cats, a few snakes and even a horse at Corbett Prep, and each was all ears.
It was a big day for the kids, who spent several months writing and binding their books under the supervision of third- and fourth-grade teacher Ann Cashen.
The project was to write a book about their favorite pet. Amanda Lather wrote about her beagle, Buddy. She said that all of her pets were named Buddy, but the beagle is special. She said Buddy is more than 80 years old, but that’s in dog years.
“He’s my friend and I can talk to him,” the third-grader said. “Sometimes I get nervous talking to people, but I never get nervous talking to Buddy.”
The kids got their projects started on their Mac computers in PowerPoint. But everything become a little more real when the finished books were ready to read.
Third-grader Meredith Rothstein brought in two tortoises that she wrote about. They are named Scratchy and Bumpy, both completely opposite of their true nature.
Meredith said she lets them out in the yard once in a while, but this was their first public appearance.
“They are tortoises but they like to exercise,” Meredith said. “I think they are having fun.”
Fourth-grader Alex Smith brought in his two dogs — Domino, a Boston terrier, and Diego, a German shepard. Fourth-grader Alex Starnes brought his two mixed dogs.
It wasn’t hard to prepare the books, Cashen said. The kids knew what they were doing from the start.
“The kids were writing what they know,” she said. “We wanted to wait until the end of the school year to put it all together.”
Cashen held a book called, “Don’t Forget to Write,” a kids book about, well, writing.
“It’s very inspiring for kids,” Cashen said. “Writing is important for kids and this was a way to make it fun.”
The Corbett Prep parents have been very supportive, Cashen said.
“The kids are learning that if they can read to people, especially an animal, it builds their self esteem,” Cashen said. “The kids all love animals and it gives them a great chance to share that with each other.”
Alex said he was excited about reading to the animals and the parents.
“When you have a good animal, I don’t get nervous,” he said. “It’s fun, especially when you have a nice teacher. It’s like a chess game. Just know what you are going to say next.”
Meredith made it even more simple.
“Just go with the flow and you figure it out,” she said. “I want to write when I get older. Just go with it.”