By Terry Rogers
Milford Author Debuts Children’s Book at Mispillion Family Reading Night
Dr. Eileen Baker, a psychologist with Milford School District, debuted her latest children’s book at Mispillion Elementary School’s Family Reading Night on February 12, 2013. The book, My Plate Island, is based on the government’s My Plate initiative, which encourages children to eat healthier.
“I have two small children of my own and was searching for good children’s books that talked about the importance of healthy nutrition,” Baker explained. “When I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided to write one myself.” Baker’s first book was a children’s book, entitled Chunkin Punkins about Sussex County’s famous Punkin Chunkiin event.
In My Plate Island, students follow two siblings, Danny and Ella on an adventure to fill a raft with healthy characters that include a talking carrot, drumming drumsticks and Mr. Peel, a banana which is hidden on every page of the book. The book is currently being printed at Pilottown Press and will be available in the near future.
Baker read the book to groups of students and parents at Mispillion using a proof of the book as the finished version is not yet available, and was assisted by Mr. Peel.
“February is ‘I Love to Read Month,’ so our Family Reading Night was scheduled to support reading and literacy,” said Mispillion Principal, Susan Donahue. “Our Scholastic Book Fair is also held at this time and the theme for the book fair was Story Laboratory. The teachers decided that the them and activities for the night would revolve around non-fiction, giving the students and their parents a chance to visit the school and interact in a different way with teachers and other staff.”
Students travelled around the school, collecting stamps on a Learning Laboratory “passport.” Two stamps had to be from classrooms where activities were set up while the other two stamps were from “other” activities, such as visiting several informational tables set up in the gym, or listening to Baker read My Plate Island. Each student also could choose from several healthy snacks, including bananas, celery and bottled water.
“We were very pleased to have Dr. Baker reading her own book to the students and parents,” Donahue stated. “Our Child Nutrition Manager, Joann Joseph worked closely with staff and Dr. Baker to come up with healthy snacks and the Mr. Peel idea to further promote the book.”
Students who obtained the four stamps on their passport received a free book and a homework pass. Parents and students could also enter tickets into a raffle for several health themed baskets, including Living Healthy, Family Game Night, Beach Cooler, Movie Night as well as a Wild and Wacky Baskets. Tables in the gym included presentations by Abbott’s Mill, the Summer Feeding Program, Mispillion PTP, the Milford Library and Internet Safety.