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It all started when I was going to school to be a teacher! I was taking a class at Dowling College in Long Island called Early Childhood Physical and Art Education. I was assigned a project to write an educational children’s book, and my mom and I started brainstorming.
We thought it would be fun to write a story from an animal’s perspective and educate readers on how they can help the environment. This particular story is from the perspective of Patty the pelican. I grew up in Florida, where there is a variety of wild life on land and in the beautiful ocean. My mom and I feel it is important for children to understand what they can do to preserve and protect nature.
We had wonderful time writing the story together, and I ended up getting an A+ in the class and on the rough draft of the book. Now we are trying to publish the story and put together the pieces of the book! Keep checking the website because every week you may see an update on what we are working on to get this book published.
Miss Tortorella has a Masters in Childhood Education and is working in elementary education in New York state. She was a “reading guest” to Miss Sammi Arndt’s first grade classroom at Corr Elementary in Apollo Beach, Florida.
Brittany is working toward establishing a career in education and is developing a reading and writing program for the Tortorella Family Foundation.
All the children in the classroom received their own copy of “Annie and Little One” and a story book journal to use in writing and drawing their own stories. The children were overjoyed to use them during their writer’s work shop time.
Tickets for Rocky visit to TAFT school this year with Ann Sather
This is the pre school class that she reads to weekly, and the place we visit each year. All the children got the new book and cd of Tickets for Rocky. Ann and I were surprised with a gift from the teachers and the children, of flowers, which was wonderful of course. The children are precious and so well behaved, but we could also could see signs that they enjoyed the music with dancing and smiles. This is the best feedback for me as a writer of childrn’s music.
The message of the Tickets book, which is working toward a dream and how important it is to not only have a dream, but to work towards it coming true. That message is a part of what we share and discuss with the older children in reading and writing classes.
We featured budding artist Amanda Huber, who went to school for art technique and is hoping someday to teach that technique to others who are interested in art. I could use some of that teaching! As the ‘illustrator of the story’, I used some of her art to depict likenesses of family members, as the story is about Marti, my sister and her twin Mary (yes, also my sister).
Halle, Amanda ‘s daughter, contributed the little lady bug you see throughout the story. She was four when she drew the bug. Amanda, Marti (Halle’s grandmother) and Halle went recently to Halle’s nursery school to read the story to the children and they all got cd/books and bags, while meeting Amanda and Halle, two contributing artists in the book. I understand that Halle was very proud.
“My name is Amy Cain and I am a fourth grade teacher in Mankato, MN. On behalf of my classroom I wanted to say that you so very much for the bugs, bags, and CD’s that were provided to my students. Ann Simmons’ grandson, Dustin is my classroom and I know that she is working with the Foundation. Thanks for the generous gift to my students. They are buzzing about the bags and they loved the music and story on the CD. They really have a passion for books and reading so thanks again for sharing with us. It’s greatly appreciated!”
1100 Anderson Drive
Washington Elementary School
Mankato, MN 56001