DeKalb teacher’s book explores a student’s journey through pandemic
“A New First Day” puts readers in the shoes of a young girl learning how to adapt to her school during the coronavirus pandemic. Courtesy of Elena Grant.
By Wilborn P. Nobles III
Elena Grant knows students will be facing a new reality when they enter classrooms during thecoronavirus pandemic, so the DeKalb County Public Schools teacher recently published a book to help children meet the challenges.
Grant is a first grade teacher of non-English speaking students at Shadow Rock Elementary School. Her fictional book, “A New First Day,” puts readers in the shoes of a young girl named Cindy who was afraid on her first day of school because everything looked different on campus.
“Everyone was six feet apart and wearing a mask,” the book said. “There was no laughter and no silly boys. The kids seemed too scared to make any noise.”
The self-published book is 48 pages long and geared for children agessix through nine, Grant said in an email. It’s meant to read at bedtime or quiet time at home.
She also hopes teachers may read it to students during story time. It may also be useful to counselors as they deal with students, she said.
The book explores how Cindy adapts to school amid the pandemic. In one instance, Cindy and her classmates are eating lunch outdoors. Students are seated at individual tables.
Cindy also learns guidelines for protecting herself from COVID-19.The story eventually ends with Cindy learning to find ways to be happy in the midst of the pandemic.
The book is dedicated to Paula Bremmer, a 51-year-old New York educator who died due to COVID-19.
I am proud to serve over 380,000 constituents from Doraville to Tucker, Decatur (Unincorporated DeKalb), Lithonia, and Stonecrest. District 7 is one of the largest districts in the State of Georgia. With diversity, unique communities, and a wide variety of economic resources, I embrace the opportunity to leverage our resources to make DeKalb great!