Loch elementary school students are now famous book publishers


Students at Loch Elementary School involved in the innovative book publishing program, including Kobe Collis and Hudson Hance, get to work producing their own books for publication.

REMEMBER JK Rowling, Stephen King, Roald Dahl and Alison Lester; you have serious competition from Loch Primary School.

And the publishing world won’t have to wait for students involved in an innovative book production program to put their first books on the shelves… it’s happening.

And if a story about runaway children found in a dragon forest or a group of teenagers popping up in the city appeals to you, then stand in line.

The books are ready to go off the printing press now.

This is all part of the ‘Books By Us’ program initiated by the West Gippsland Area Library Service, now known as Myli – My Community Library, and Loch Primary won the right to advance the program this year. – with sensational results.

At this month’s South Gippsland Council meeting, the school, its students and staff received praise from Administrator Rick Brown, who also happens to be the chairman of the regional library service which oversees the operation. local community libraries, including those in Korumburra and Léongatha.

“The commitment of teachers from Loch Primary School to the program is remarkable. And I take this opportunity to thank them for their enthusiasm and their commitment to the program, ”he said.

“The books will be professionally printed and added to the library collection for all library users to borrow. And I hope students and their families can celebrate their accomplishments live at a VIP book launch at Loch Community Hall in November. “

Grade 5/6 teacher Jackie Van Velzen and Grade 4/5 teacher Silvin Brown in Loch say they were very grateful to have been involved in the implementation of this program and love to see the students become real writers!

“The program is well structured, easy for students to understand and well supported by Nansi, Michelle, Julie-Anne and the West Gippsland Library. Even during distance learning, the program was able to run smoothly, showing the dedication and commitment of everyone involved, ”said Ms. Van Velzen.

“Students have written a variety of material, ranging from joke books, non-fiction texts about animals and air disasters, to stories with magical characters who find themselves on a quest for adventure. It’s very exciting to see the kids so engaged and excited about their writing.

What is it about?

The Books By Us program – an initiative of West Gippsland Libraries in collaboration with professional author Nansi Kunze – turns classrooms into publishers. Over 10 weeks, students learn about what happens in real publishing houses and produce their own books, which are then professionally printed and added to the West Gippsland Libraries collections for the public to borrow.

Students learn to plan, write and edit their own individual works (fiction and non-fiction). They also work together to edit each other’s handwriting and produce illustrations, covers, and blurbs. The sense of purpose that Books By Us participants gain from knowing that their writing will become real books leads to an incredible level of focus and excitement, even among students who are generally reluctant writers.

“Normally I don’t like to write, but I really like doing Books By Us,” said a 6th grade student at Loch Primary.

All South Gippsland Shire public schools have been invited to apply for this year’s deployment of the
fully funded program, which was first held at Trafalgar Primary School in 2019. Loch Primary was chosen as the winner, and their 44 final graders (grades 4-6) started the program in July.

“Loch is a very small school, but we love working with them,” said Nansi Kunze, developer of Books By Us.

“They are so excited and they really grabbed the opportunity for their children to become published authors.”

The lockdown hasn’t stopped Books By Us from operating this year, with online sessions whenever the school is closed. Despite the challenges of distance learning, students at Loch Primary worked hard to ensure their books were on track to launch at the Books By Us red carpet event in November.

Books By Us was developed by senior author and teacher Nansi Kunze, whose books are published by Penguin Random House and Hawker

Brownlow Education. Nansi presents the program with fellow writer and librarian Michelle Lewry, who also creates and manages many of the West Gippsland Libraries’ children’s activities. The program, funded by West Gippsland Libraries, Victoria Writers and the Grace Marion Wilson Trust, aims to build student literacy, engagement and self-esteem while fostering community ties with libraries.


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