Article by Karen McGraw
For some time now, we on the Tyndale Kids Team have been hearing from our authors about their partnerships with local schools. We love nothing more than stories of how children are embracing our books and learning more about God’s care for them.
Every person at Tyndale is an important part of the process of getting books into the hands of children. Read on to be blessed by just a few examples of how Tyndale books have touched the hearts of kids.
Liz and Jack Hagler
Illustrator and authors of the Patrick Wigglesworth’s Bizarre Bible Adventure series
On a sunny California school day, Liz and Jack Hagler arrived at Pacific Point Christian Elementary School for a fundraiser. The school had a goal of raising $1,500, and the Haglers (and Patrick Wigglesworth) wanted to help. They set up a table, welcomed the children, and introduced everyone to Patrick and his Bizarre Bible Adventure.
Liz and Jack had a great time with the children, parents, and school personnel. The Haglers sold 174 books and raised $2,720, blowing the top off the school’s fundraiser goal. This will allow the school to purchase much-needed art supplies, a STEAM lab Chromebook cart, and a variety of sports equipment—including gaga balls, which some members of the Tyndale Kids Team had never heard of.
The school and the Haglers are excited to continue their partnership. They are currently working out dates for the Haglers to present at a spring chapel service. And there’s no doubt that if there are more fundraising opportunities in the future, the book sales will be a huge hit!
Jennifer Marshall Bleakley
Author of the Pawverbs books
Beloved Tyndale Momentum and Tyndale Kids author Jennifer Marshall Bleakley recently reported to Linda Howard about how Pawverbs for Kids has impacted two different schools.
The principal of a small Christian school in Eufaula, Alabama, read and fell in love with the book. Inspired, she coordinated with her third-grade teacher to include it in the daily routine of the class. The third-grade class now begins each morning reading and discussing one of Jen’s charming Pawverbs stories. Then the teacher leads them to answer the “Paws and Ponder” questions. Finally, the children are invited to read the prayer.
Most of the children at this school are on church-sponsored scholarships. Jen was so moved by their use of the book that she sent the school 20 books so that each child could have their own copy.
One of the stories in More Pawverbs for Kids (releasing this fall) is about a therapy dog named Tesla, whom Jen has featured in several Pawverbs stories. Tesla’s handler, Sandee, works with a therapy dog ministry outside of Chicago, Divine Dogs Sandee recently presented a morning assembly at a Christian school in Bartlett, Illinois. Many of the students there are reluctant readers.
After the assembly, to create some excitement about reading, the school introduced a reading program. The principal had chosen a story from Pawverbs for the older students as well as a story from Pawverbs for Kids for the younger children. They read and discussed the stories, answered the questions, and got to be up close for some snuggles with Sandee’s new therapy dog, Selah!
D. J. (Derek) Williams
Author of the Beacon Hill series of YA novels
From the age of eight, Derek sensed God’s call to be a storyteller. As an author, he’s met many readers—both teens and adults—who love authentic stories of hope, faith, and redemption.
Derek has reached out to teen readers where they are: at school! He has brought the Beacon Hill books into their assemblies, chapels, and classrooms. One highlight from the last year was the launch of book 2 in the series, Secrets of the Highlands, at Crossroads Christian School in Corona, California. Derek has a partnership with the school that allowed him to share book trailers and a documentary about the series. He also talked about what it means to be a storyteller and shared insights from his entertainment career and his faith journey.
Derek loved meeting the students at the school and experiencing their excitement and passion for the Beacon Hill series. Some of the kids knew book 1 so well that they asked questions about the series he had trouble answering!
Dandi Daley Mackall
Author of the Winnie the Horse Gentler series and other Tyndale Kids favorites
Dandi’s work in schools began over four decades ago when she walked hand in hand with her first-grade daughter into the elementary school she attended in Hamilton, Missouri. Dandi was heading to her former first-grade classroom to talk to the students as research for a book she was writing, the sequel to Art Linkletter’s Kids Say the Darndest Things.
During that visit, the conversation inevitably turned to God. She asked the students what God looks like. Every hand went up. The first boy responded, “God is really, really, really old . . . like 23.”
As Dandi puts it, “I’ve never met a young student who objected to hearing about God in my books or in my visits.”
This visit was all the inspiration Dandi needed to continue going to schools and talking to children. She’s done classroom visits, all-school assemblies, and classroom workshops. Dandi has donated many books to schools and always includes copies of her Winnie the Horse Gentler books and Larger-Than-Life Lara, all of which are longtime favorites of young readers.