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Students at École Oriole Park to adapt Kerry Wood’s books

Kerry Wood book project

Students at École Oriole Park will have an opportunity to be part of a new literacy project based on the published books of the late local author Kerry Wood.

Three of Kerry Wood’s young reader books, as well as a short story will be adapted and illustrated for Grade 1-4 readers including Mickey the Beaver, Samson’s Long Ride, Birds and Animals in the Rockies, and Ronnie from Cowboy Yarns for Young Folk. Students at École Oriole Park will have the opportunity to collaborate on the project, which will also include local independent television producer, Mark Collings, two local illustrators Emma Guido and Holly Mayo, Kerry Wood’s daughter, Rondo Wood, as well as Central Alberta Historical Society’s Clare Butterfly.

Students in Grades 4-5 will read the books as published, and give some input as to how to adapt them for younger readers in Grades 1-3, while ensuring the main story elements are still captured. The current chapter books will be adapted into 16 page books with illustrations.


“When we were wrapping up our Capstone Garden Project and local videographer, Mark Collings was here taking video for the TV series he was doing, he spoke to some students who were coming in and out of the library,” said Lori Irvine, Principal of École Oriole Park, of how the project got started. “He started talking with them and asking the students what they were reading. He was really impressed that the kids loved books about history in particular.”

This is where the seed was planted for the project.

“It’s an opportunity for us to engage in literacy, as well as with some of our local authors. It’s important for our students to see that people in our community do really good things,” said Lori.

Work is getting underway immediately with students starting to read the original books, give suggestions for adaptations to the stories and what types of illustrations could be included, with a draft expected to be ready this spring. The project was supported with $8,000 from the City of Red Deer, but more fundraising dollars will be needed with hopes that the adapted books will be in libraries across Alberta.

“Throughout the project, students will be immersed in literacy, they will get to see what a career in book publishing is like, they will learn about art and design, how to input their ideas, how to write, edit and proofread,” said Lori. “Overall, we think it’s going to be an extremely rewarding project for all involved.”

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