First grade student Grant Adkins stood in front of his classmates and parents on Thursday to read his story, "The Football Game." Adkins wrote and illustrated the story about attending a Carolina Panthers game with his family. He dedicated it to his brother.
The reading was a part of a special Author's Tea event at Spindale Elementary School. Adkins and fellow first grade students showed off their writing and reading skills by creating their own stories and illustrations to share.
"Each of the kids write about an experience they've had in their life and draw illustrations for it. They dedicate the story to someone and read them at this tea where the parents and family are invited to come out," said Darren Joiner, teacher assistant at Spindale. "It's a day for the kids to show how much they have grown through the school year."
The students were divided into groups and each group presented their stories to the class and family members on a different day. On Thursday, stories ranged from vacation experiences to a day at the park.
"The stories were totally their ideas. We had to rework them and edit them a little, but they came up with what they wanted to write by themselves," said Pat Elledge, first grade teacher. "They really worked hard on the stories. It was just wonderful to see that come alive."
As the students read their stories, Elledge presented a PowerPoint of the illustrations they drew. At the end of each reading, the student was given three positive comments about their story from members of the audience.
"It's a culmination of everything they have learned in first grade. It covers reading, writing and gives them the confidence to stand in front of people and read," Elledge said. "What a wonderful way to let parents see and be a part of what's going on."
Once all of the students completed their readings, they autographed programs that were given out to all of the parents and enjoyed some refreshments. The programs included a picture and description of each author. Each student also received an awesome author award for their hard work.
"This gives them confidence and pride in how they can read in front of a group," Elledge said. "That is what first grade is all about. Knowing how to read, put words together and write."