The Ewing Schools district theme this school year is “Ewing Strong: All in this Together!” and a recent act of kindness by some school community alum certainly demonstrates that this mantra resonates amongst generations of Ewing students.
Three Ewing Schools graduates, Karen Stroman Pardonner, Amy Stellman Regan and Wade Forbes combined their talents to create the children’s book Caring Kids: Coping Rhymes for COVID Times. The book focuses on themes of resiliency and fortitude as the nation navigates the pandemic and features the literary talent of Stellman Regan and the artistic skills of Forbes.
The children’s picture book came into existence because we wanted to do something positive during these difficult times,” Stellman Regan stated. “Karen knew how much I loved writing and thought that publishing a book would be a safe way to connect with kids and help them through the pandemic.”
In the book, Miss Abel’s class is filling their backpacks for at-home learning and discussing social distancing. That means lots of changes in how the students live, learn, and play. The children talk about what they’re doing to stay safe and healthy during the COVID pandemic and discover there are some new activities they enjoy and want to keep doing!
If the name of the teacher in the book sounds familiar, it’s because the character is named in honor of longtime educator Carolyn Abel Stoy, who taught elementary school for many years in the Ewing school system.
“Working on the book together gave us time to reflect on our childhood together and how we got to where we are today. Ms. Abel Stoy, who was our second grade teacher, was a great influence on both Karen and me,” Stellman Regan shared. “She influenced my poetry writing and I still have the collection of poems she encouraged me to write almost 50 years ago. She is a true lesson of how teachers really do inspire us and can make our dreams come true.”
On September 9, 2020, the creators had the opportunity to surprise Ms. Abel Stoy and personally present her with a copy of their book.
“The response to the book has been extremely positive so far from kids, parents, grandparents and teachers alike,” Stellman Regan noted. “Pediatricians, librarians and higher education institutions have also expressed enthusiasm in sharing information about our book.”
On September 18th, the creators made a donation of one book for every first grade classroom in the Ewing Schools.
“We are very appreciative of their generosity, “Assistant Superintendent Danita Ishibashi stated. “It certainly is a timely book and a valuable resource as we welcome our students back to school.”
Caring Kids: Coping Rhymes for COVID Times, available on Amazon for $9.99. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Feeding America. Visit www.CaringKidsPublishing.com for a direct link to Amazon, and free downloadable engaging activity sheets that go along with the book. Coming soon: a companion journal for, Caring Kids: Copying Rhymes for COVID Times will also be available on Amazon.