A book celebrating the “City of Dreams” had a fairytale journey of its own, produced through a collaborative effort of children – and a few adults – who call Carrollton home.
The official book launch celebration will be held in conjunction with a Carrollton City Schools movie night at the AMP in downtown Carrollton this Thursday, where parents and their children get to enjoy the popular animated film “Incredibles 2” to celebrate the start of a new school year. The book launch event begins at 8 p.m. with the movie starting at 8:45.
“We are excited to join Main Street’s Summer Movie Series with a back-to-school movie night for the entire family,” said Laurie Fleck, director of Marketing and Community Engagement for the school district. “We will be releasing our new book, ‘A Trojan Tale,’ at this event, and have several fun activities planned for all who attend. This will be a fun and free event for our families to enjoy before we kick off the new school year.”
The book collaboration began last school year to develop and ultimately publish a children’s book to distribute free to Carrollton children to promote literacy efforts in the home, said Karen Wild, director of School Improvement.
Wild said the project was funded through “Literacy Without Limits,” a district initiative using grant resources earmarked for innovative efforts to boost literacy beyond classroom instruction. She applied for the grant funding to bring to fruition creative approaches to try to reach students – and their parents – on their home turf.
“The ability to read and write provides limitless opportunities, but lacking those skills greatly hinders a person’s potential and prospects,” said Wild. “Low literacy has individual consequences such as lower quality of life and societal consequences such as slow economic growth. Knowing this, we are determined to do something about it here in our hometown.”
The book focuses on the adventures of Troy, the Carrollton City Schools pet dog, as he travels to the key places in Carrollton looking for his friends in a playful game of hide-and-seek.
The book was the brainchild of Ian Lyle, an assistant principal at Carrollton High School. Carrollton Elementary teacher Chaleen Sceals led the team in authoring the story, and students at each of the schools played a role in writing the book: CES students wrote information captions for the photos; Carrollton Upper Elementary students provided sketches for the dog character; Carrollton Junior High students provided sketches for the human characters and photos of the key places in Carrollton; and CHS art and graphic design students finalized character sketches, created a map of Carrollton, and coordinated the digital design of the book.
The book will be distributed to parents of newborn children via Tanner Health System and to prekindergarten students in Carrollton City Schools. Other copies will be provided in literacy initiative giveaways.
Assisting in the development of the book were teachers Jake Richardson, Abbie Driver, Jamie Tuggle, Mandy Maierhofer, Kaley Blankinship, Sceals, Kristina Bivins, and John Megathlin.
“Being a part of the Tiny Trojans Project has been quite rewarding,” said Sceals. “It is not very often you get to work on a project where teachers and students from all levels, even all the way down to our tiniest Trojans, get to collaborate on a project that will benefit our community.”
Richardson, who is the art teacher at CHS, praised the creativity of the student and teacher participants.
“The imaginations and talents that are at play with this project represent the definition of collective literacy,” he said. “Experiences in awareness, diversity, collaboration, comprehension, and expression are so essential to the artistic process and to our community in fostering that collective literacy.”