Students at Shadowlawn Elementary School in Clay County will have their writings added to the Kerlan Collection, an archive of children’s literature at the University of Minnesota.
Angie Sullivan’s sixth grade reading class was assigned to write alternate endings to Marion Dane Bauer’s novel “On My Honor”. The class sent these endings to Bauer in a letter, and in response, the author wrote that she would put the writings in the Kerlan Collection.
“For years and years, even years beyond your lives and mine, people who are interested in studying children’s literature will be able to come to the Kerlan and read your chapters,” wrote Bauer in a letter to the students. “It will tell those researchers how children thought in 2017 and how they reacted to my book. So be proud of yourselves. You have written something that will last.”
The Kerlan Collection, housed in the University of Minnesota Libraries Children’s Literature Research Collection has archived more than 100,000 children’s books, illustrations and manuscripts.
“At Shadowlawn Elementary we strive to not only develop strong readers, but also strong writers. My students were so excited to create their own endings to the novel. It was so kind of Marion Dane Bauer to respond back to my students. They now recognize the importance of writing in their lives,” said Sullivan.
“We are so proud of our students and Mrs. Sullivan,” said Nancy Crowder, the principal of Shadowlawn Elementary, in a statement. “We wanted to share this very special letter as part of our Celebrate Literacy Week focus on reading.”
The reading assignment capped off Florida’s literacy week, which Gov. Rick Scott dedicated to make literacy a priority for Florida citizens and to help ensure that students in Florida read at or above grade level.