Stories Through The “i” of a Bulldog: i3 Students Write and Illustrate Children’s Book

Mrs. Elva Thompson (left) and Mrs. Corinne Schaefer (right)

On April 20th, i3 Academy students personally delivered and read their own stories, illustrated by Mrs. Courtney VandeBunte’s Drawing I class, to the fifth graders in Mrs. Teresa Baldwin’s class at Bunnell Elementary School. The high school and elementary school students got to read the stories and talk about the process of making a book together. Mrs. Corinne Schaefer, Creative Writing and Gaming teacher, had the students’ stories printed and published in a book called Stories Through The “i” of a Bulldog. The book was published by Mrs. Elva Thompson from Esquire Publishing, who attended the field trip. The stories within the book include many different educational lessons for the fifth graders, along with illustrations and interactive games.

Kenneth Bond, a fifth grade student in Mrs. Baldwin’s class, told us, “It was good because it was fiction and it had a lot of content. It was interesting to learn about the three laws of motion again to refresh my memory of them. The drawings were really good.”

From January through March 2017 the i3 students worked hard on their own children’s stories as class projects. These stories within the book were about topics that the fifth grade students needed to learn more about, such as anatomy, early United States history, and topics on the U.S. government.

This project was a collaborative effort between the creative writing, gaming, and drawing high school students. The creative writers wrote their stories and had students from the drawing class make illustrations based on events in the story. The gaming students created interactive game apps to make the books come to life on a smartphone or tablet. The Game Design class created the interactive games to further complement the stories. Game Design students had to learn basic Javascript coding and 2D design elements.

The class used CreateSpace for the book layout, and Esquire Publishing published the book. Each student that worked on the project, both high school and elementary school, received their own individual copy. Overall, the students were very successful in making an educational, published book for children to learn more information about various school topics.

“It is so inspiring to see students accomplish publishing their own book. It is something all students will treasure forever. The real-life skills gained by everyone involved in the project was far beyond the walls of the classroom. Students really enjoyed sharing their book with the younger students and seeing their stories and games being appreciated by others,” Mrs. Schaefer said.

Many people attended this event at Bunnell Elementary School’s Media Center, including Superintendent Mr. Jacob Oliva, Executive Director Mrs. Lynette Shott, Executive Director of Leadership Development Mr. Vernon Orndorff, Bunnell Elementary School Principal Mr. Marcus Sanfilippo, i3 Academy Director Mr. Blake VandeBunte, and Flagler Palm Coast High School Dean Mr. Ryan Andrews.

“I thought it was a very inspiring collaboration between high school students and my fifth grade class,” Mrs. Baldwin said. “The collaboration and discussion between students was very in depth and fun to listen to. Very inspiring.”

Each fifth grade student had a story in the book dedicated to them, and every student also received a copy of the book. This was an amazing experience for the students able to work with each other on a collaborative project.

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