C.R. Clements/Hollie Parsons Elementary School invited families and local businesses to an Authors Tea on Tuesday to celebrate the release of the book, “Strolling Through Copperas Cove,” a collection of essays written and illustrated by students about various locations around the city,

“They worked with teachers at the school, the librarian, the interventionist and the fifth-grade tutorial team,” French said of the book development process.

The six-week process involved a lot of thought, patience, helpfulness, research and fun in addition to building the students’ reading, writing and spelling skills by 3 percent, French said.

The authors worked with librarian Robin Spencer, learning research methods and ways of taking the information obtained and putting it in their own words. Spencer praised the students’ hard work and success.

“We lay down the expectations for them, and I am always thrilled to see them rise to that occasion,” she said.

Brianna Thornton, a student at Parsons, led the fifth-grade tutorial team that helped with the editing process.

“We wanted to help some of the kids who had issues reading or couldn’t focus that well, so we would play a game with them that helped them figure things out,” Thornton said.

The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce also helped with the book. Chamber President Betty Price, who attended the Authors Tea, described the annual project as a testament to the children’s hard work and dedication to the community.

“I think it’s awesome. When you live in this community we’re always proud, but today I stand taller and prouder,” she said. “It’s so wonderful to know that the children and the community are so interested in doing the research.”

During the Authors Tea, students took turns reading excerpts from the book and signed autographs. Several family members attended in support of the project, including Matthew Beck’s father, Kim Beck, who called his son’s work “impressive.”

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