JAHA receives grant from National Geographic Education for children’s book project

JAHA receives grant from National Geographic Education for children’s book project

Posted: January 20, 2021 2:23 pm

The Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA) has received a $30,000 grant from National Geographic to facilitate a project that will allow area high school students the opportunity to author and illustrate a children’s book. Currently, JAHA is seeking educators from up to six school districts to take part in the project with their students.

The children’s book will be written and illustrated by six teams of high school students. The book will include local, regional and global topics under the following themes: The Human Journey, Wildlife & Wild Places and Our Changing Planet.

“This project is all about place — what makes Johnstown and our region special, which is central to JAHA’s mission,” said Richard Burkert, president of JAHA. “The heart of the project is empowering young students’ voices, and we’re excited about being able to facilitate this opportunity for them.”

The book will be written for an audience of K-5 students locally, regionally and nationally. Each team will select one of the three themes and work with JAHA on developing a narrative, dialogue-driven storyline based on geographic information and local experiences of young explorers participating in the project. Students and teachers will also be mentored by a graphic designer/illustrator.

The book will be released in fall 2021 and include print, audiobook and an e-version. JAHA will host a digital exhibition of the book itself, as well as the journey of its creation.

Educators who are interested in forming teams for the project should fill out an application of interest by January 29, 2021. To express interest, educators should get in touch with Angel Ashby at JAHA, aashby@jaha.org or 539-1889 x311. Teams will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis as long as all criteria are fulfilled.