On Friday May 17, students and parents packed into the Blessed Sacrament School auditorium for an “Author’s Tea” by the first-grade class, where students presented their recently published book, “Around The World With Grade One.”

The book was published through Studentreasures Publishing, and entered into the organization’s national book competition. The Blessed Sacrament book is currently a semifinalist in the contest. 

Last year, the first-grade class placed third in the national book competition out of 146,000 entries.

Eileen Dooley, first-grade teacher at Blessed Sacrament, first heard of the competition last year and thought it would be a fun class project. She had no idea that the books would get so far.

“It’s really good, they get to it,” she said. “(Students) do the layout of the book themselves and they plan it all out. They pick the topic, they did these illustrations.”

This year, the first-graders’ book dives into different countries around the world. Each student was assigned a country to report about, and the stories take readers on a journey through the various cultures, cuisines and customs of countries such as India, China, Mexico and Kenya. 

At the Author’s Tea, students performed songs and read the pages of the book they created. At the end, each student received their own copy of the book to take home. 

“It’s amazing, they get so excited when the book comes,” said Dooley. “They know (there’s) going to be a book, but when you open the box and they actually see it it’s like, oh wow!”