After a four-year hiatus, Young Author’s Day at Highlands Elementary School returned on Friday giving every kid a chance to become an author.
Young Author’s Day is an over 30-year tradition for Highlands.
Teacher Dan Kurtz said at the beginning of the kids’ journey to becoming young authors he shows them his Young Author’s Day book he made in third grade.
“I do it to inspire them,” said Kurtz.
Every student at Highlands, from kindergarten to sixth grade, creates their own story from an idea to a physical book. Depending on the grade level, their efforts can be labeled as books or novels.
The students worked for two weeks to finish their compositions.
On Friday, students gathered into Kurtz’s classroom to present their final products. Some dressed up as their favorite characters from books such as Anne from “Anne of Green Gables,” Draco from the “Harry Potter” series and Professor Quirrell from “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”
Students were divided up amongst tables and every table had one student from each grade level.
“What I really liked was that the older ones were helping,” said volunteer Jennifer Altamirrano. “I love that they were willing to help each other and support each other.”
Kindergartner Alena Millan created an “I Spy” book, counting objects from one to 10. Millan’s book was entirely in Spanish, exemplifying what she has learned as a member of Highlands’ Spanish-immersion class.
“Drawing the pictures” was her favorite part, she said.
Fourth-grader Jaxon Hovey created “Shower Lobster,” inspired by a meme of a blue lobster he saw.
“Shower Lobster” tells the tall tale of Hovey discovering a lobster in his shower and writing to his teacher. His teacher writes back sharing facts about lobsters and how there couldn’t possibly be a lobster in his shower.
Spoiler alert: Hovey was right — there was actually a lobster in his shower.
Each letter Hovey sends and receives was written in both English and Spanish.
After each student shared their story, the stories circulated amongst their groups receiving comments in the back of their books.
Altamirrano said that volunteering for Young Author’s Day is something she has been looking forward to ever since her eldest son participated in it.
“I was actually excited about it,” said Altamirrano. “The kids are so proud of their work, and you can see it when they’re reading it and want to hear everyone’s comments.”