Frontlist | 12-year-old publishing 1st book

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ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne girl known for her Buddy Bench efforts is adding another description to her résumé this year – published author.

Publishers Weekly recently announced a fall release date for Sammie Vance’s nonfiction book, “Inspire the World: A Kid’s Journey to Making a Difference.”

“I am really excited about my book, and I hope it will inspire others to be kind and make a difference no matter your age,” Sammie, 12, said by email. “I can’t wait to share this book with everyone in the fall!”

Sammie will work with illustrator Talitha Shipman, also of Fort Wayne. She initially suggested Sammie write a book about her efforts to recycle plastic bottle caps and lids into Buddy Benches.

That was more than two years ago, the pair said during an episode of Sammie’s podcast, “Sammie Smiles.”

“The publishing industry moves really slow sometimes,” Shipman said on the podcast. “It’s hard to wait, but it’s worth the wait.”

The book will describe how Sammie’s Buddy Bench efforts didn’t stop with collecting plastic caps for a bench at her school, according to the summary in Publishers Weekly.

Sammie has helped install more than 100 Buddy Benches worldwide. The benches give lonely, shy or bullied children a place to sit to make new friends.

“I really want to illustrate stories that are meaningful,” Shipman said, “that can change people’s hearts and minds in some way.”

asloboda@jg.net

Grace

• For the third consecutive year, Grace College students earned the highest Indiana CORE Elementary Reading Exam scores of those reporting their results. Grace students also had the highest average score in the state for special education with the mild intervention licensure exam with a 100% first attempt pass rate. Three other top five exam scores were reported for Grace School of Education: third for elementary education pedagogy; third for elementary social studies; and fourth for elementary science.

Indiana Tech

• Indiana Tech and Ivy Tech Community College have partnered on a new guaranteed admission program that enables Ivy Tech grads to transfer to Indiana Tech’s main campus in Fort Wayne as well as its College of Professional Studies, which offers programs online and at its 18 regional locations. The agreement guarantees admission and a transfer of all 60 credits earned by Ivy Tech associate degree graduates into the equivalent bachelor’s degree programs at Indiana Tech. Guaranteed admission to Indiana Tech is provided to graduates of 10 Ivy Tech programs, while graduates of other Ivy Tech programs may continue to apply and be admitted to Indiana Tech on an individual basis. Go to www.indianatech.edu for more information.

Saint Elizabeth

• All Kids Bike is working to bring its kindergarten physical education program to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School. The program equips schools with everything they need to teach children how to ride a bicycle, including teacher training and certification, a structured curriculum, bikes, helmets and a five-year support plan. If funded, the Fort Wayne parochial school would be the second school in Indiana to launch the program. Go to https://support.allkidsbike.org/saint-elizabeth-ann-senton-catholic-school for information.

Scholarships

• Eligible high school seniors have until Feb. 15 to apply for a $1,000 scholarship from Mediacom Communications. Sixty scholarships will be awarded based on academic achievement and leadership. Applicants don’t have to be Mediacom customers, but they must live in areas served by the company. A list of communities is included in the application at www.mediacomworldclass.com. Send questions to scholarship@mediacomcc.com.

• Applications for the Co-Alliance Solutions Scholarship program are due Feb. 1. Twenty $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to graduating high school seniors planning to study agriculture in college. Applicants must be the child or grandchild of a member of one of the five co-ops in the Co-Alliance partnership – Midland, IMPACT, LaPorte County Co-op, Frontier and Excel. Go to www.co-alliance.com for information.

• Entries are due Feb. 15 for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s national Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness College Scholarship Essay Contest. Students can win up to $5,000. Go to www.alzfdn.org/scholarship for information.

Tutoring

• Allen County Public Library cardholders can access free, online tutoring through Tutor.com. Tutors are available in a variety of subjects and test prep areas from noon to 10 p.m. daily. Go to www.acpl.info/tutor for information.

Warsaw

• The Warsaw FFA Community Appreciation Supper generated over 350 canned food items for local food pantries and $1,200 for the Rob Hays Memorial Scholarship fund. Hays was the Indiana FFA executive director and a former agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at Warsaw Community High School who died unexpectedly in September.

Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email asloboda@jg.net.

Source: Journal Gazette

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