Sacred Heart students publish book

Sentinel photo by Zoe Pruitt
Posing with copies of a book Sacred Heart of Jesus School second graders published recently are, first row, Anna Hardin, Camden Crawford, Katie Anewalt, Lexi Anewalt, Kason Maldonado, Freya Keoboualy, second row; Masiyah Jenkins, Dhanvin Patel, David Anderson, Delaney Morrison, Will Hostler, Lilly Nace; back, Staci Stimely. Each student has the book open to the section they contributed to.

LEWISTOWN — The bright minds of Staci Stimely’s second-grade class at Sacred Heart of Jesus School have recently achieved a milestone — they’ve become published authors with their very own book, “The What If Book!” Bursting with creativity and enthusiasm, the young writers have been awarded official certificates, marking their journey as official and published authors.

Their literary journey began when their teacher, Staci Stimely, came across an exciting program online offering students the chance to craft and publish their own book.

“I saw you could create a book for free by Studentreasures Publishing so I got on and I got the kit,” shared Stimely. The students, initially feeling nervous, yet excited, eagerly accepted the prospect of writing their very own book.

With creativity fueling their imaginations, Stimely kickstarted the project with a series of thought-provoking “what if” questions. Placing them on a table, she watched as her students selected questions to weave into their own fictional tales. Her goal was to blend education with creativity, empowering the kids to embrace their unique voices and feel the pride of becoming published authors.

One of the tales came from Lilly Nace, an excited student who was challenged with the question, “What if I had a time machine?” Drawing inspiration from everyday moments in her own home, Nace integrated her own experiences into her story, infusing it with charm and personality.

Throughout the journey, Stimely assumed the role of a guide, offering support and encouragement as her students navigated the creative process. Acting as both mentor and teacher, she provided amazing feedback, helping shape their stories while preserving their unique ideas.

Despite facing initial hurdles, as they learned to organize their thoughts and brainstorm ideas, the students persevered, fueled by their creativity. “I didn’t know what I could write as a story,” confessed Nace, thinking about her experience with finding her inspiration. “I walked around my house and saw one of my toy buttons!” Through the writing process, from prewriting to publishing, they transformed their visions into reality.

With their book now in print, excitement fills the air as the students and their teacher revel in their accomplishment. Each student now proudly owns their own official certificate and copy of the book they helped create. Also, the excitement doesn’t end there — the book has been entered into an international contest, offering the possibility of classroom prizes or even a grant for Sacred Heart School.

As the second grade stars of Stimely’s class bask in the excitement of their newfound authorship, the school community rallies behind them, bursting with pride and excitement. With plans for a wrap-up party and showing pictures on their facebook page, their journey as published authors is just beginning — an inspiring testament to the power of imagination and the boundless potential of young minds.


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