Image provided by Lexington-Richland Five.

Kylie Pittman, a student at Dutch Fork Middle School was able to make her dreams a reality by becoming a published author.

“I wrote a book originally for my little brother and I decided that I wanted to publish it,” Pittman said. “The reason why I decided to continue writing is because of my 7th grade ELA teacher Mrs. Snyder. While I was in her class we had to write a book for little kids and that made me want to write more.”

Pittman, an eighth-grade student published her first book, "Turtle Trouble: A Timmy Turtle Story." Her book, which is now available on Amazon, is a story about a turtle who is afraid of the water and learns to overcome his fear.

“My goal with my book is to help kids learn valuable lessons such as overcoming a fear or being yourself," Pittman said. "I hope my books help kids enjoy reading.”

Pittman said she would not have had the courage to publish her book if she had not been in Lesley Snyder’s 7th grade English honors class. Snyder has taught English for nearly 10 years and considers herself to be a life-long learner and a lover of reading and writing. She has a passion for teaching, which she credits comes from her many past teachers who shaped her into the teacher she is today.

“Last year my honor students engaged in a lesson where they were tasked with writing a picture book for younger children," said Snyder. "We were studying author’s craft techniques, so they had to craft those techniques into their books for a younger audience. Kylie sent me an email basically thanking me for doing the project and let me know that it inspired her to publish her book. It really meant a lot to me to get that email because it validated that what I am doing does have an impact with my students, which sometimes can be hard to gage in middle school students.”

Pittman said she plans to continue the Timmy Turtle series with her next book highlighting first responders.

“Kylie's initiative in publishing her book demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Dutch Fork Middle School principal, Vernon Sava. “It has inspired her peers, but has also inspired our faculty and staff. We are proud of her accomplishment and are eager to see future publications from her.”

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