Students at Cornelius ES celebrate becoming published authors

While most people dream of becoming published authors in their adulthood, students at Cornelius Elementary School celebrated the unveiling of their first published books with an exclusive signing and reading on Tuesday.  

Surrounded by family, friends and classmates, it was hard to miss one student—fourth-grader and MLK Oratory Winner David Ozuzu, who wore a smile that filled the room as he officially signed one of his three books that would reside in the campus library.   

“I’ve been writing since kindergarten, and it’s really exciting to see all of my ideas come to life in my very own book,” David said. 

Each summer, campus librarian Roslene Walton selects up to 15 students to participate in a summer writing camp using Write Brain Books program, which allows students to work collaboratively or individually to create a story that accompanies illustrated books provided by the program.  

“I’m proud to continue the partnership with Write Brain Books that was established by a former fine arts teacher Paula Fleming, who has continued to support the program and encourage students to participate year after year,” Walton said. 

Fleming’s former students, fifth-graders Siloe Moreno and Isabella Martinez, passionately read two pages from their co-authored book, “The Elf and the Fairy Cutters,” which tells the story of a special elf living in a rainforest. The two were specifically drawn to the images of the book due to its similarities of their parents’ home country.  

“While we focus on the program improving literacy in our students, it’s always wonderful to watch them find a connection to the illustrations and use their imagination to create beautiful stories that will live on at our campus,” Walton added. 

A hardback copy of the students’ published books will reside on a dedicated bookshelf in the Cornelius library, where students of all ages will be able to borrow and enjoy.   

The next round of published students who participated in the program will be recognized on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the campus.