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First Habit of Successful Authors: Work Hard

Students Create Book Promoting Leadership

Pine Island Elementary teacher Laura Lamoreaux takes it in stride that her class is full of published authors. After all, she helped make it happen.

Her third-graders recently held a signing party in the school’s media center for a book they wrote and illustrated. The project began in October, and copies were delivered on Feb. 2.

Other SNN articles about Kent ISD districts’ “Leader in Me” program participation:

“It was a lot of work and a big time commitment,” Lamoreaux said. “But it was so worth it to see their faces when the box arrived and I started passing them around.”

The self-published hardcover book, titled “The Seven Habits,” is based on what students at Pine Island are learning as part of the “Leader in Me” program, a whole-school transformation model developed by Steven Covey, and based on seven habits of leadership.

Each of Lamoreaux’s 25 students wrote and illustrated a page of the book.

Adriahna Stoner did the title page and Habit #3: Work first, then play, a habit she said she has mastered.

Jimmy Nagle with the pages he wrote and illustrated

MyKaveon Johnson took on Habit #2: Begin with the end in mind. “Technically, it means planning ahead,” he explained.

Cainen Williams’ page tackled Habit #5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. “It means, like, listen to someone while they talk, thenyou can talk,” Cainen said.

To get the book’s cover just as she wanted it, Riley Munger drew a practice version and then the real thing on “good paper.” But hey, just two tries is pretty good. “She’s the best artist in our whole class,” pointed out Adriahna.

MyKayveon said “it took me a very very long time to write my part, like two weeks. I also think I write too small. That kind of runs in my family.”

Clockwise from top, third-graders Cainen Williams, Adriahna Stoner, Riley Munger and MyKaveon Johnson are published author/illustrators along with the rest of their class

Still, McKayveon said, seeing his name in print made it all worth it.

“It’s cool to be a published author,” he said. “Usually you read other people’s books, but I like this because when you are an author you can write a book any way you want.”

This was the second year Lamoreaux’s students self-published a book. Parents were invited to purchase a copy, and others are available in the school library for checkout.


Leader in Me

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio


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