O’Leary Elementary School principal Susan Trail has cracked the seal on one of the boxes of books stored in her office. She just had to confirm the order, she claims.
Students and fellow staff at the school, however, will have to wait until Wednesday, June 13 to get their hands on a copy of, ‘O’Leary from A to Z.’
A launch celebration for the book that every student in the school had a hand in producing goes all afternoon on June 13. The 34-page book will be projected onto a large screen for public viewing at 1:30 before the 300 copies go on sale to the general public. Trail is anticipating parents and family members will quickly snap up most of the copies, but any that are left over will be available for sale at O’Leary Guardian Drug.
As the title of the book suggests, students, often working in groups, came up with places, landmarks, events and special occasions to represent O’Leary in every letter of the alphabet. Students also provided illustrations to represent each letter.
Grade 6 student, Ginger Barlow drew a person holding Prince Edward Island to represent “I” for Island, and her illustration was also selected for the book’s front cover.
“I’m going to buy a copy,” she enthused.
Extra illustrations are at the back of the book, and staff came up with a neat way for all 120 students to be photographed for the book, arranging themselves in such a way to shape every letter of the alphabet.
There were a lot of letters nominated to recognize O’Leary’s passion for hockey. ‘’K’ for Kraft Hockeyville won out, but Grade three student Aiden Judson managed to sneak in a Hockeyville reference with “N” for “Not-a-Robot,” reminiscent of the voting process employed to choose a national champion.
Haile Jelley, Grade 6, anticipates some surprises when all the letters are disclosed.
Work on the book started in November and it was finally sent off to online publisher, Blurb, in early May. Trail said the book helped accomplish a school goal of encouraging students to write more. “Writing a book gave students reason to write,” she said. Each group had to complete a writing assignment before getting to work on their illustrations.
Food, entertainment, fun and special guests will be part of the afternoon launch party.
Trail said the book was a major undertaking for the students and the launch is reason to celebrate. “They’d be sitting there: ’This is really hard,’” she described the writing assignment. “Once they started going, then they took ownership of it and they’re quite proud of it.”