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Fairland fifth-grade students write a book

May. 09, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A number of fifth-grade students have become published authors as part of a writing workshop project at Fairland West Elementary School.

Thirty-one fifth-grade students, 31 second-grade students and 10 Fairland High School students collaborated on the book called "Memories and Traditions." More than 50 of the books were handed out last week at a reception at Fairland West. Pam Leep and Deborah Pemberton, two Fairland West teachers, oversaw the project for the second year in a row.

"Our high school students worked so well with our younger students," Leep said. "They gave them some good ideas. We're proud of all our students."

"We asked them to submit an essay and selected the best ones," she said. "We meet an afternoon a month. They had to make up their regular school work. They had to be dedicated and interested in their writing. They wrote about family and traditions. It warmed my heart. We're excited about it and so are they. We're proud of all of them."

"I think it's great they're doing this," said Kim Hazinski. Her son, Chris, a fifth-grader, wrote one of the stories for the book. "We may have little writers later on."

"We want those small town family traditions to stay alive," Pemberton said.

Pemberton and Leep oversaw a similar project last year with fifth grade students, but decided to expand it this year with the high school students and the second grade students pitching in, too. "We wanted to embrace a larger age group," Pemberton said. "It just gets bigger and better."

"This is a big event," said Judy Jarrell. Her grandniece, Katelynn Cloninger, did artwork for the project. "I love it. They're taking an interest in the arts. We need more of this."

Devin Mason, a fifth grade student, wrote a story about his grandmother and grandfather at Christmas. "I'm proud to be published."

Summer Dillon's daughter, Gracie, a second-grader, was among the illustrators for the book. "She loves to draw," Dillon said. "She looked up to the fifth-graders. It was perfect for her."

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