Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Children's Books: Senior Literary Exchange and Come and Read With Me

Senior Literary Exchange

Each trimester Casady seniors take a new English course, similar to college seminar courses. Multiple Genre Creative Writing, taught by Whitney Finley, is one of the courses offered during the winter trimester, and students in this course have concluded a unit of study focused on children’s literature.

After spending a few days reading and critiquing children’s literature, the seniors began the process of crafting their own children's stories. The seniors worked diligently on their projects and were conscientious about content, structure, characterization, illustrations, and use of rhetorical devices. The project culminated with an opportunity for the seniors to share their stories with kindergarten children.
This is the seventh year for this project. Casady kindergarteners will now craft their own unique stories and reciprocate a sharing time with seniors in the spring.

Mrs. Finley's Senior English Class students read the children's books they created to kindergarten kids in the Primary Division on Thursday, February 17, 2017 from 2:30-3:00 pm.  

Seniors 2017 Children’s Books


  1. Calvin Tolbert -- “Billy Bumpass and his Map and Compass”

Time: 6:35 / Characters: a boy, his mom, & his dad

Billy feels disappointed that he received a map and a compass for his birthday; however, when Billy and his parents become stranded in fog, his present comes in handy. The story teaches children to openly receive something that might seem uninteresting at first, as it can prove useful and fun after all.

  1. Gabriel Ting -- “Griswold the Generous Grizzly”
Time: 5:48 / Characters: woodland animals
Griswold the bear tries to find the lake in order to take a bath before his long, winter nap. Griswold encounters animals that need help along the way, which delays Griswold’s lake venture. However, eventually one of the animals that Griswold chose to help returns the favor and helps Griswold find the lake. The story teaches children that we can find joy in helping others.

  1. Claire Darrow -- “A Day at the Museum”
Time: 6:04 / Characters: a girl, her mom, & figures in paintings
Harper doesn’t want to spend her day at an art museum, and to make matters worse, she gets lost while in the museum. However, a few talking paintings help Harper to find her mother and to have a fun day enjoying art. The story encourages children to be open-minded to receive unexpected gifts and new experiences.

  1. Livy Simms -- “Casey’s Space Adventure”
Time: 4:00 / Characters: a cactus & other plants
A cactus with a love for the stars does everything he can to reach his goal. The story reveals that with hard work and perseverance, we can make our dreams happen.


  1. Mason McClintock -- “The Adventures of Charlie the Chipmunk”
Time: 3:45 / Characters: 4 animals
A group of animals gets lost in the woods, and they have to find their way back. The story teaches children that teamwork is important because people can use their different strengths to help accomplish a goal.  

  1. Muhammad Saadah -- “Masquerade”
Time: 3:20 / Characters: a boy & other kids
Gribble wears masks to look like other kids in hopes that this will help him to feel accepted; however, Gribble soon learns that the best way to make friends is to be himself.  The story reveals that the key to friendship is to love yourself as you are.

  1. Dalton Bishop -- “George the Dancing Giraffe”
Time: 3:20 / Characters: safari animals
Safari animals have a dance party that meets with adversity, but together, they find a solution to continue the party. The story teaches children that when things go wrong, we can work together to find a solution.

  1. Paris Corbett --“Penelope’s New Pal”
Time: 3:29 / Characters: penguins
Penelope the penguin feels a little down because she doesn't have anyone to swim with. But then, unexpectedly, a new friend comes into her life.  The story teaches children that it’s important to have patience when hoping for something in the future.


  1. Caroline Mullins
“Becky’s Big Break”
Time: 2:51 / Characters: a girl & other kids
Becky learns to embrace her differences and her love for basketball while struggling to overcome challenges that arise from being different. The story teaches children that being unique isn’t a bad thing; we are all unique in some way.

  1. Reid Fisher
“Milk and Cookies”
Time: 3:53 / Characters: a boy, Bigfoot, & mom
A little boy becomes lost in the woods on his way to buy milk.  He becomes afraid when he sees Bigfoot, but eventually, Bigfoot helps him on his journey. The story teaches us not to judge others by appearance or preconceived notions; everyone has something good to give in life.

  1. Brayden McCaleb
“Timmy’s Birthday Surprise”
Time: 3:32 / Characters: a boy & a goldfish
On Timmy’s birthday, he receives a goldfish as his present.  He feels disappointed at first but soon learns he loves his new pet.  The story teaches children to be open-minded to receive unexpected gifts and new experiences.

  1. Brett Reynolds
“The Night of the Howling”
Time: 3:13 / Characters: wolves
Danny the wolf feels sad that he cannot howl with the other wolves at “The Night of the Howling.” With a little luck and little ingenuity, Danny finds a way to participate.  The story teaches children that we should do our best to include others, and the story encourages children to think creatively when problems arise in order to find a solution.

  1. Emma Richmond
“Head in the Clouds”
Time: 3:06 / Characters: a boy, his mom, & classmates
Despite being teased about his hopes to fly a plane, little Ryan helps to land a plane while on Spring break. The story reveals that we should never give up on our dreams, no matter what other people think. 

  1. William Walter

Come and Read with Me Program 
@ Casady Upper & Middle Division Chapels

Mrs. Angie Walton, Come and Read with Me Program Coordinator,  shared the below video of the program.  She also provided information about the summer program application which is currently available on bulletin boards in the Upper Division.

Ms. Sally Gray, Children's Librarian and Elisabeth Wright, Teen Librarian were introduced to Upper Division Chapel as resources for Casady volunteers.

The Middle Division service club, under the sponsorship of English Teacher, Mrs. Cherylynn O'melia has an ongoing initiative sharing Metropolitan Library System, Come and Read with Me and student created books with Johnson Elementary.  

The Upper Division Service-Learning Program has been working with the Come and Read with Me Program since 2005.  Mrs. Walton was pleased to find, at the Casady Archives, a reflection provided by Darian Lopez'06  about her experience as a volunteer with the Come and Read with Me Summer Program.  

The Come and Read with Me Program has provided YAC with at least 900 books which they have read and/or donated for children to take book home at Britton and Bodine Elementary, Our Spot, Head Start Program, and Boys and Girls Club at Memorial Park.

The Village Library currently has a project where teens provide technology assistant to adults and elders.  The Service-Learning Program and the Village Library Teen Program started a dialog of a possible collaboration in the creation of a book based on the life retail experience of Marolyn Stout, a resident of the Statesman Club at the Vineyard.  The book's title is "50 Years Behind the Fitting Room Door."  Any youth and/or adults interested in this innovative service-learning project should contact the service-learning director at for details.

Mrs. Walton's contact information is 
Angie Walton, M.Ed. | Project Coordinator
300 Park Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Growing smarter communities, one person at a time.
Twitter: @MetroLibraryOK 

Volunteer Opportunities with the Village Library
  • Summer Reading: Of course, we always need teen volunteers in the summer. Invitations will be sent out to returning volunteers on March 4, and then the opportunity will be posted and opened up to new volunteers starting on March 10. Summer Reading volunteers primarily help with signing up people for the Summer Reading Program and awarding prizes for reaching goal levels, though they also assist with other tasks around the library as needed. Some of our Summer Reading volunteers also help with our Reading Buddies program by playing literacy games with children.
  • Tech Time: Currently, I've had students from Classen SAS provide tech help on two Tuesday afternoons a month. In March, we're going to try taking Tech Time to Town Village Retirement Center on a Saturday morning. If that goes well, I hope to expand and continue that partnership and will be looking for additional volunteers, as my current Classen volunteers are all seniors.
  • Homework help: One of the Metropolitan Library System's big strategic initiatives for the next year is to offer homework help services at all library locations. At the Village Library, this is still in the early stages of development, but we'll be looking to start a homework program in August/September, and we can try to plan it for an evening time slot so that hopefully some of your students can participate as tutors.