JACKSON, Mich., March 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A passion for storytelling, and a knack for creating memorable characters, led one 9-year-old elementary student to succeed in publishing.
Kiarra Merritt, a fourth-grade student at Paragon Charter Academy (PCA), a free public charter school managed by National Heritage Academies, is sharing her love for reading and writing with other students during National Reading Month.
"I read two or three stories and the other students asked questions. They were involved and really listened," said Kiarra.
Since her book - "Pinky the Perfect Pig: And Other Stories" - was published, she has read to nine other classes throughout her school. "They've been great about inviting her in and giving her opportunities to read more," shared, Andy Merritt, Kiarra's father.
Kiarra's stories lead the readers through adventures, where her characters, which are based on her favorite stuffed animals, learn new things about themselves along the way. The stories were written over the course of a year and compiled into a book, which was gifted to Kiarra from her parents as a surprise on Christmas morning.
The full-color children's book features 13 different stories with lovable characters like the Very Long Caterpillar, Leo the Friendly Lion, Pete the Horse, and the Very Rude Polar Bear.
"Over the last several years at school, she's had teachers who have challenged her. She's had to work harder each year and she has risen to that challenge every time. This led her to realize she can become more than she thought she could," said Andy.
Second-grade teacher, Megan Hensrud, was one of those teachers. "Kiarra was a special guest reader in my classroom. She shared her favorite stories from her book, which lit a spark in my students when they discovered one of our very own Paragon students is a real author! They were inspired to start writing more, and some now want to be authors as well," she shared.
Kiarra began at PCA in kindergarten and has advanced her studies for five years. "Kiarra is a hard-working role model for her peers. Her kind nature and diligence to detail are amazing!" said Jenny Campbell, fourth-grade teacher at PCA.
SOURCE National Heritage Academies