Today I want to share the work of a grad school SLP friend, Susie Harder. She lives in California and has her own private practice focused on people who stutter. When she told me about her new project: Junior Authors Program, I knew I needed to share this with you! It’s like “choose your own adventure” for creating a book for kids. Read all about it, in her own words:
Right now, we are ALL looking for ways to meaningfully engage children through distance-learning and teletherapy!
As a speech-language pathologist, a mom of two young kids, an author, and someone who is involved in educational curriculum, I started envisioning what it would look like to involve kids in something truly inspiring right now…
Would providing something intrinsically motivating and empowering help kids navigate life right now? Could it potentially light that “flame” of What I’m doing is making a difference! And could it make teletherapy more meaningful?
This all came together for me within the last month and the short answer is: YES.
As I was developing a children’s book, I started thinking…
What if children could partner with an author and illustrator to help create and publish a book TOGETHER?!
What if children had the opportunity to make decisions throughout the whole process from illustrations, to characters, to story details and even cover design and the finishing touches?
I was in love with the vision of a child holding a book and feeling like I helped make this!!
So, I developed a platform to make it happen. In 10 seconds a day, kids can contribute their ideas and opinions to the book! Each of their decisions help shape the final book that will be published on Amazon in January.
Votes are presented as 3 picture choices. Each child chooses their favorite one and submits their vote! No reading/writing skills are needed. Children who do not speak English as their first language can still fully participate in building a book! Here’s a sample vote: Which dog should be our main character?
The really incredible part of this book project is that our team of Junior Authors are writing a book to help kids who lost their home in the Central California Creek Fire in September. Kids helping kids… so powerful and meaningful!!
Can kids still join the Junior Authors Team? Yes. Simply jump in and start voting!
I’ve been using the votes with all of my students (in addition to my own children) and it’s been such a fun way to engage kids and is something motivating to check-in about! When I login for a session, the first thing they want to know is the results from what they voted on!
Ask the Author- LIVE happens each Wednesday evening and children can submit any questions they have! Submit a Question for the Author!
This unique concept allows kids to:
- see behind-the-scenes of making and publishing a book,
- interact directly with the author,
- feel empowered by contributing to a worldwide project
- AND help other kids at the same time!
Now, let’s get to work on creating and launching this best selling book together!
Warmly, Susie Harder, M.A., CCC-SLP
Susie Harder, M.A., CCC-SLP is an experienced speech-language pathologist who devotes much of her passion to working with children who stutter. She works in private practice and the school setting to help support children and teens who stutter. In addition, she provides CEU courses for stuttering, has developed a school-based consultation model for utilizing specialists within the school setting, has supervised numerous graduate students and interns, and for many years taught the graduate-level fluency course at CSU Fresno.
A few months ago, when the Central California Creek Fire started and children from her hometown lost their homes, Susie started brainstorming how to best support these kids. When she couldn’t find enough resources, she decided to create it. Within a week, she had written a children’s book themed around what these kids had just experienced, found an editor, taken a course on children’s books, and started looking internationally to find the best illustrator. Her child-development skills guided her toward sharing this inspirational knowledge with kids. Thus, she created a unique platform to reinvent how children connect with literacy and books.