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First-graders at John Gregg Elementary invited family members to celebrate creativity as they published a book of their original works.

   About 50 students in Melissa Trimmer and Amy Sinicropi’s classes gathered with dozens of parents on March 21 for the release of “When I Grow Up,” a collection of short essays about their future careers. The tomes were published through Studentreasures, a Kansas-based company which has aided more than 12 million school-aged writers over the past two decades with the purpose of inspiring young minds. In addition to promoting creativity, the process also teaches students about teamwork and boosts their confidence.

   The budding authors commemorated their accomplishment with a book-signing party in the gym complete with cookies and craft activities with their loved ones. Trimmer and Sinicropi said the project took more than a month to complete and the children were excited about the finished product.

   “After Christmas, we started focusing on the book and spent about 1 ½ months on it,” Trimmer commented. “This is our first-grade tradition and they are very excited about it.”

   Sinicropi added that students had to develop ideas about their chosen vocation and keep a journal before neatly writing on special paper provided by the company. The youngsters also dressed up as their selected professional and drew their own illustrations describing their jobs. Trades included teachers, police officers, firefighters, veterinarians, pediatricians, nurses, a hairdresser, construction worker, zookeeper, helicopter pilot, gymnastics coach, YouTube vloggers, farmer, rock star, Army officer, gas station attendant, bear hunter and even a few ninjas and spies.

    “They love it,” added Sinicropi. “It’s fun when they see it.”     Copies of the book may be ordered by the parents to treasure as keepsakes in the years to come.