Clarke ninth grader Emily Glenn has something to add to her resume that not a lot of other 14-year-olds can - that of a published author.
Last year, Clarke language arts teacher Tracey Schlicthe gave her eighth grade class an assignment as part of the new American Reading Company (ARC) curriculum. ARC curriculum is one in which “students develop expertise as readers, writers, and researchers as part of a thematic inquiry community. The assignment was for the students to create a book that dealt with a world issue, with the possibility of publication. For Emily, the world issue she tackled was recycling.
“Recycling wasn’t my first choice,” said Emily, who had considered other topics like water pollution.
As she started looking around town, Emily noticed there were issues around recycling, and decided it would be a good topic to take on.
“I found lots of information on it, a bunch of topics I had to cover,” said Emily.
Emily looked at books currently available on recycling to help with her writing, but found them lacking. She said there wasn’t a lot of in-depth information about what people can do when it comes to recycling. Over a couple of months with the help and guidance of Schlicthe, Emily worked on gathering all of the information she needed and put her book together, which was all done on the computer.
“Emily worked really, really hard on this project,” said Schlicthe.
The end result was a 27 page book titled ‘Recycling the World,’ full of information about recycling, from what it is to the process to the benefits. There are also pictures and graphics related to the topic, some drawn by Emily.
“I was going to go really into this book, not going to give just fifty percent,” said Emily. “I wanted a good grade, and look for it to get published. I was going to try as hard as I could to get a good book someone would actually read.”
At the end of last school year, Schlicthe sent in selected works from her students to ARC, and didn’t hear anything back over the summer.
“Not hearing anything…since June was like, well,” said Schlicthe, who thought it meant that none of her students had been picked.
On Friday, Sept. 9, Schlicthe received an email from ARC saying that Emily’s book had been chosen for publication, along with forms for Emily to fill out if she was interested in selling the rights to her book. Emily was, and the forms were sent back to ARC saying as much.
“[I’m] very proud, very excited; it’s quite an accomplishment,” said Schlicthe.
For Emily, the process of writing the book and now starting the publication journey is one that has started turning the wheels in her mind about her future.
“I’ve thought about being an author in the past, but I wasn’t really sure of my future career,” said Emily, who has always enjoyed language arts and writing stories.
Schlichte is hopeful that Emily’s accomplishment will also be an inspiration to other students in the school.
“[This] will show kids that teachers aren’t just yapping, it really can happen,” said Schlichte.
Emily is the first student from Clarke to have her book published by ARC, which will put both her name and Clarke’s out there for others to see.
“Look how many did the project, and look how many got it,” said Schlicthe.
Once available, Emily’s book can be found on American Reading Company’s website, where it will be accessible to everyone. It will also be the first time anyone will see the book not as slides on Emily’s computer. Both Emily and Schlicthe are hopeful that Emily will be asked to do an author’s reading of her book on the ARC website, as they wait to hear the next step in the process.
“This has really opened my eyes to a possible career choice,” Emily said.