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What is the Schuylkill River?

A succinct and visual read about the important river located in Pennsylvania.

Photo of Latrece Johnson

Written by

 

The Schuylkill River flows.






 

It flows through Philadelphia.






In 1682, William Penn chose the flow of the left bank to found Philadelphia.








 

 

 

 Once…


 

 

 

pollution flowed...





In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in his will that two thousand pounds sterling be put in trust towards keeping the “Schuylkill navigable”.








 
But now…



 

 

the river's watershed flows clean.

 

 

 

A watershed is an area of land that drains into a river, lake or other body of water.


 

We can play ‘peek-a-boo’ as it flows!

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

I write about local ecology in Mobile, Alabama to engage young children in becoming environmental stewards in their early years. Created in board book size, Schuylkill River, is designed to share information about this major state of Pennsylvania river in short sentences and visual photographs to young readers and their caregivers.

Share your suggested book title

The Schuylkill River

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

The Schuylkill River flows.   It flows through Philadelphia. In 1682, William Penn chose the flow of the left bank to found Philadelphia.     Once…   pollution flowed...     the river's watershed flows clean. A watershed is an area of land that drains into a river, lake or other body of water.   We can play ‘peek-a-boo’ as it flows!

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

The uploaded document shows that the book is the size of a board book: large enough for adults to handle but uniquely sized for an infant and toddlers hands and fingers to hold and manipulate, though the child would need support in learning how to turn pages one at a time. Photographs support the text, encouraging further discussion about nature, texture, colors, shapes, directions, and people. It uses mainly Tier 1 words such as 'the, flows, but, it, now, we, can' and a few Tier 3 words which are 'Schulykill, watershed, Philadelphia, pollution'. References Reach Out and Read. (2013). Reading Tips for Your Family. Retrieved from https://www.pediatriccarectr.com/pcc-reads/

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I traveled through Philadelphia briefly in June 2016 on Interstate 95. It was the first time I had gone that far north. It was awe inspiring to see a few of the monuments and landmarks I had only read about in textbooks as a student in high school, or seen on PBS or C-Span in my adulthood.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

I live in an urban area that has great biodiversity; heavily supported by the area bayous, rivers, lakes and beaches. Those same waterways, provide recreation for the residents of the area who call it home in much the same way, the Schuylkill River does for the communities it runs through. In the literature that I write, I introduce our local area--the Peninsula of Mobile Bay--using elementary text that can be enjoyed by readers aged preschool and up. I want 'Schuylkill' to be enjoyed in the same manner.

Location: Country

The southern United States

Location: State or Department

Alabama

Location: City

Mobile

Website URL (optional question)

https://latrecejohnson59.wixsite.com/latrecetheteacher/local-science-by-a-local-scientist

Tell us more about you / your team

I am an early childhood educator passionate about teaching and learning. I began my career in August 2000, working two years as an infant/toddler. I worked another four years as a private preschool teacher before pursuing higher education to earn two master's degrees--one in early childhood studies and the other in reading curriculum and instruction. I am currently employed as a teacher in Head Start, a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

What Is a Peninsula?: "A Science by a Local Scientist" series (Volume 1) Paperback – Large Print, September 3, 2017 What Is A Lionfish?: A Local Science by a Local Scientist series Paperback – Large Print, June 13, 2018 What Is A Dinoflagellate? ("Local Science by a Local Scientist") Paperback – March 4, 2019

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email
  • Direct email invitation

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

17 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Jennifer Buis
Team

Latrece, I like the subtle but factual style in your manuscript! In my early draft of my manuscript,
Buddy Goes To Clark Park, Buddy meets a River Otter in Clark Park and Ollie the River Otter had swam over during a flood from the
Schuylkill River!!! Nice job! Best wishes today!
Jennifer Buis

Spam
Photo of Mary Ressler
Team

I’m from Philly and love the boat house river!

Spam
Photo of Latrece Johnson
Team

I’m glad I wrote on a topic you like.

Spam
Photo of Mary Ressler
Team

Yes. Good Memories!

Spam
Photo of Latrece Johnson
Team

Okay, everyone. I have a rewrite and visuals to give you an idea of what my vision is.

Spam
Photo of Virginia Brackett
Team

Latrece, I enjoyed learning about this river, although I believe your approach would work more successfully for older readers than for preschoolers. Perhaps adding a rhyme and/or rhythm element and fewer precise figures will make it more accessible to the 0-3 age group. For example, the river's name is difficult to pronounce. Thus, you might open with the pronunciation and then rhyme with the name's syllables as you supply additional facts. I look forward to reading your next posting.

Spam
Photo of Latrece Johnson
Team

Thank you, Virginia! I am grateful for this overwhelming feedback. I am working on a simpler version that I hope is on the right path.

Spam
Photo of Deepali Kulkarni
Team

I love non-fiction books for babies! This concept is great. Learning about the environment is so important for urban children especially. I agree with the rhyme and rhythm suggestion given by virginia and would add that perhaps providing less information and shorter sentences would be helpful. There are also a lot of tier 3 words such as “watershed” which may be lost to both babies and their caregivers.

Spam
Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

The history part should be simpler for the children. Tweak it and I know it will be great.

Spam
Photo of Latrece Johnson
Team

Thank you Perlina! In the process of doing so now.

Spam
Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Thanks for that history and geography lesson

Spam
Photo of Latrece Johnson
Team

You are welcome and thank you for taking the time to read my submission, Ashanti!

Spam
Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Likewise Latrece, you are welcome.. Thanks as well

Spam
Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Very informative.
I'm just wondering if it is too advanced for one, two and three year olds.

Spam
Photo of Latrece Johnson
Team

Hello and thank you! I agree there is quite a lot of information to gain from the book. I am open to revisions for better engagement.

Spam
Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

I see you intend to double check the resources. That is where I would I have directed you to.

I look forward to v2.0

Spam
Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Latrece Johnson on  welcome to the Challenge Community!
Loved how you've used a story about Philadelphia's river to make kids develop a love for the environment early :)
Since your final readers will be from the age group of 0-3 yrs, it may be interesting to tweak the manuscript to make it simpler, rhythmic and more engaging for your readers. You can learn more about early childhood development and tips on writing for this age group in the “Challenge Resources” listed at the end of the Challenge Page.