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Eastchester School Fourth Graders Publish Books

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. -- Although he is only in fourth grade, Jack Ognibene has a lot to write about

"I am writing about all of my ideas that I am thinking about," Ognibene said. "I want to be a paleontologist."

Ognibene and all of the fourth graders at Anne Hutchinson Elementary School spent the last few months writing, illustrating and editing their first books, which were made into hard cover volumes and presented to parents on Thursday.

Fourth grade teacher Kathleen Barba said the children were given the options to research and write a non-fiction story, a fiction story or a memoir in mid-October.

"We reviewed all of the steps that it takes to write and publish a book, planning, drafting, writing and so forth," Barba said. "After they are done, we send out the books to be bound, and parents also have the option of ordering more copies."

School principal Theresa Cherry said that the writing exercise was one of five events at the school Olympics. The first was math night, which Cherry said was extremely successful.

"We had about 300 parents there, just like today," Cherry said. "The goal is to help parents become more involved in the children’s education."

The book was the second event, which will be followed by an arts festival in May and a science fair to be held after that. The final event will be field day near the end of the school year.

Cherry said this is the first year the school has held the Olympics and she is very pleased with the outcome.

"We have a great parent community who are always willing to come when invited," Cherry said. “This program is designed to give our parent community ideas on how they can help their child and be involved in what we are teaching here at school."

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