Surprise! You are a published author and you are about to read your book to a classroom full of excited students before handing out signed copies.
This is what former Mrachek Middle School student Kai Aptidon experienced near the end of the 2016-17 school year. She had no idea that the short children’s story she wrote during her senior year at Rangeview High School would come to life that day in such a special way.
Her intent behind the story, titled Nigel’s Imagination Saves the Day, was to simply express her growing love for children, something she would read for her own enjoyment.
But her mother, Mrachek technology assistant Donna Aptidon, knew the story could have a bigger impact on youth. While Kai studies English and Creative Writing at the University of Colorado Boulder, Donna took it upon herself to self-publish the book.
“I wanted to do something that would continue to encourage Kai on her journey towards becoming a teacher,” she said.
To make it more captivating, Donna appointed Sydnee Masias, Mrachek dean's daughter, to provide colorful illustrations.
Check out preview pages of the book HERE! The story introduces a child named Nigel who has such a big imagination that he is often teased. So he decides to watch television instead. One day, an astronaut appears out of the screen and takes Nigel on an adventure that's dependent on his imagination.
Aurora Public Schools is proud to see our core belief that every student has unique abilities we must recognize and engage demonstrated in such an amazing way. We wish Kai the best in her pursuit to work with children!