Established: The Publishing Company was started in 1992 and was opened up to the entire school system which includes Brass Castle and Port Colden Schools.
Funding: Funded with the help of the following:
- Geraldine Dodge Foundation Grant
- NJEA Pride in Education Grant
- P.T.A. Bowling League
- Warren County Alliance Committee
Awards: New Jersey School Boards Association-School Leader Award
“Featured on NJEA Classroom Close-up, NJ, a documentary on TV”
- To encourage hesitant writers to gain confidence in their abilities
- To improve the students’ writing abilities
- To improve the students’ reading and comprehension skills
- To combine many aspects of the curriculum reinforcing the language arts program
Operations: The students help prepare book covers, type books, help kindergartners with their books, fill orders, or help with any process that needs to be completed.
Community Involvement: Castle Express operates with help and support from the community.
Parent Volunteers: Parent volunteers help operate Castle Express. Parents have volunteered their time to type, make book covers, cut cardboard, bind books, laminate books, give presentations in the classroom, and help students select book covers. There are many jobs that can be done by parent volunteers. Everyone is encouraged to participate.
Senior Citizens: Senior citizens from the Washington Area Nutrition Program and 6th graders pair up and develop a relationship through book writing. The end result is a book written by the 6th grader about the senior’s life.
Supplies: The community is asked to send in various materials. Cereal and gift boxes are used to make book covers. Wrapping paper, glue sticks, magazines, greeting cards, and other supplies have been donated.
Philosophy: All students have the ability to write a book. In many cases, all that is lacking is confidence. The love of writing is encouraged. Writing skills are improved during the book making process. It is important that the finished project is grammatically correct. It should be free of spelling errors. As the student progresses, his/her confidence increases. Every student has the opportunity to publish a book. It could either be a class project or initiated by the student. Everyone is encouraged. Improving writing skills is very important. Motivating students in an inviting, original way is an important goal.
Procedure: Book making is integrated into the curriculum.
The student writes a rough draft.
The teacher edits the story.
The student author places his/her final copy on the publishing sheet.
The story is typed by the student or a parent volunteer.
The student illustrates the story.
The student selects a cover design.
The book cover is cut and assembled.
The book cover and pages are laminated.
The book is bound.
The student receives his/her finished book.
Number of Books Published: Castle Express publishes over 1000 books per year.