February 12, 2016 – A group of students from Fremont Elementary School are now considered to be young authors after having collaborated to write the book “Views from Fremont” through the Need to Read Project. The project was brought to the school by the Jim Burke Foundation Dream Builders Program, an organization made up of high school students that take on projects to make our community a better place.
“We chose Need to Read because we know that Bakersfield has a low literacy rate,” said Chandler Basconcillo with Dream Builders. “We just really want to stress to the youth of Bakersfield the importance of reading and the success you can have from being educated.”
For the last six weeks, Mrs. Esmeralda Stane’s sixth grade class has worked with Mrs. Karen Basconcillo’s second grade class to write “Views from Fremont.” The second graders served as writers and the sixth graders as editors, while the high school group oversaw the project as mentors. The book highlights stories of each student’s favorite day.
“I wrote about going to the zoo with my family where I saw tigers and giraffes,” said second grade student Christian Morales. “I wanted to write about it because it was the best day and I feel happy about having my name on a book.”
The Dream Builders visited Fremont this week for the culmination of the project where they presented each student with a printed copy of the book, courtesy of Sierra Printing. The group also wants to make sure that the Fremont students continue exploring their reading and writing now that the project is complete.
“We have donated a book box so that students can just come and take a book to read because we want to continue to promote the importance of reading,” said Basconcillo. “We hope that from now on, the students will continue meeting weekly to read together and hopefully writing continuously.”
For some students, writing has already become an ongoing project.
“I’m writing my second book,” said sixth grade student Kalunji Hendrix. “The book is a mystery and I’m already on my third chapter.”
“Views from Fremont” will be entered into the Kern County Young Author’s fair this spring. Copies of the book are available at Fremont Elementary School.