Middle school students are published authors before they can drive

Middle school students are published authors before they can drive

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Students at Louisville's West End School are walking around with a little more swagger because at a young age, they are now published authors.

"I went to the back where our pictures were, looked for my name," said eighth grader Jeremiah Lewis said.

Their book, "Dr. Derby Meets Dr. Dunkenstein in the Ultimate Kentucky Cavity Race," is now printed, published and ready for everyone to see.

[MORE: Researchers: Smell could be key to early detection of Parkinson's disease]

It was unveiled to students Tuesday with some of the people who helped make it happen looking on. Former NFL Player Joe Profit brought his Legends & Kids Young Authors program to Kentucky for the first time. Community Dental Care of Kentucky sponsored it, which meant kids got to work with former Cards and NBA player Milt Wagner, the company's community outreach director. Dr. Dunkenstein himself, Darrell Griffith, who has a role in the book, was at the unveiling as well.

"When I first got the copy of the book, I sat down and I started reading," sixth grader Jercius Thompson said.

The sixth graders in the school's summer program came up with the characters and illustrations for the book about a horse who's a dentist and the race his son was competing in.

"Because that's the first thing that popped in sixth graders heads was teeth," Thompson said.

Seventh graders worked on the plot and the eighth grade got to wrap it all up.

Lewis said, "At the end of the Derby he ended up winning and so his problem was basically solved."

Profit said he believes the problems being solved extend far beyond the plot of the book.

"To see that excitement in their eyes when they start writing, and they start materializing and they use the five elements and they understand how to connect the characters and the plot," he said. "I just got to a point where I got tired of kids, very good athletes, that could run, jump high and do everything, but they couldn't read."

That won't be a problem for students of the innovative West End School, which stresses high expectations. This book is something they can take with them for life.

"When they have something tangible that they can hold and give to their parents and say, 'look! Look! This is me!' That pride is just increased even more," teacher Matthew Howell said.

Lewis echoed that, saying, "It's a great experience because we can look back to our future self and see how we published a book, that we accomplished something."

You can buy the soft-cover copy of the book now on Amazon.com and it will be available soon in hardcover.

For more information about the Young Authors Program, click here.
Copyright 2015 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.