Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 14: Remembering Sandy Hook, the 20 first grade students, and their teachers

The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission
The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission is a sweet, gentle story that came to me during my prayers for the children and teachers of the Sandy Hook [CT] Elementary School tragedy. The book is dedicated to the victims of the tragedy and all victims of violence.  

The messages of the story? 
Love ~ Hope ~ Kindness.

The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission

Story Synopsis:  God asks a field full of sweet, playful little lambs to help Him with a very important mission. He tells them that the people of Earth have forgotten to be loving and kind to each other. God needs their help to remind the people of Earth how much He loves them. With the little lambs’ help, the world becomes a better place. 

ALL PROFITS from the sale of this book are donated to the "Angels in Charge" scholarship. The award goes to graduating students from Newtown [CT] High School who are planning a career in education. The school district chooses the student, or students, who best meet the scholarship requirements.  To date, four seniors have received a total of $5,500.00. To read a little about the 2014 student recipients, here are the links to past blogs I wrote about them.  

Part 1 - 2014 Angels in Charge Scholarship Recipient  
Part 2: 2014 Angels in Charge Scholarship Recipient

Background and special note:  I'm a retired elementary teacher. My first assignment?  First grade - I taught 6-year-olds. When the tragedy happened at Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012, I related to those teachers and the kids in so many ways.  Later in my career, we practiced school-wide lockdown drills.  We turned off the lights, and locked our doors - if it had a lock.  We hid our students in our classroom to the best of our ability, and kept them silent until the all clear bell sounded.  I know the Sandy Hook teachers did everything in their power to protect their students and keep them safe on December 14, 2012. To me, those teachers were heroes.

I didn't ask for the "Little Lambs" story.  It was literally "given to me" during my prayers for the victims and their families.  The story wouldn't leave me alone.  I didn't want it, but it haunted me until I wrote it down.  With help from student artist, Taylor Galaska, we created this little story to honor the Sandy Hook children and their teachers, and all victims of violence.   

The "Angels in Charge" scholarship honors the teachers.  The students who receive this award plan to pursue a career in education.  Students must meet a set of criteria including: academic excellence; community service; and they must be recognized as a role model to their peers and the children in their community.  I am so proud of them and you can read more in the blogs linked above. 

My prayers continue to be with the families and for all victims of violence.  I pray everyday for Love and Healing and Kindness in the hearts of everyone on Earth.   
Rhonda Paglia "Grammy Pags"

The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission has been endorsed by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals.

Student & co-illustrator
Taylor Galaska

Rhonda Paglia is a "Moms Choice Silver Award" Winner for her "Meeda and Me" early / beginner reader picture book series and an "Inkspokes Select Book Award" recipient for the easy reader version of "Three Little Gnomes and a Boy Named Orion." She recently received a "Gittle List Top 10 Indie Children's Book List" award for her newest book, "Grammy's Rockin' Color Rap-a-licious Rap." 

In a former life, Ms. Paglia was an elementary teacher. She and her husband live in Pennsylvania. They have three grown children, five grandchildren, and a little pup named Bella. "Grammy Pags," as she is called, enjoys gardening, tap dancing, yoga, and writing stories for kids! She has authored 10 children's books, 8 of which she has also illustrated. "There are more books on the way!" she says. Ms. Paglia is a member of SCBWI, PennWriters, and WestPA Authors.

Grammy Pags Stories Website:  www.rhondapagliaauthor.com
Grammy Pags Stories on Facebook: www.facebook.com/grammypagsstories
Grammy Pags Stories ~ Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00G5X3WO2
Twitter: Rhonda Paglia @grammypags1