Calliope Lindau is an adorable four-year-old living in Montana who has a genetic condition called Williams Syndrome. Due to her condition, Lindau has limited mobility in her legs, as well as some other difficulties. Luckily, three students at the Billings Career Center in Billings decided to help!
Go Baby Go
Kai Pohlman, Ainsley Lennick, and Elijah McCoun are all a part of their school’s group Go Baby Go, which assisted the trio in designing and building a toy car for Lindau so she can get around independently. Pohlman explained, “Go Baby Go’s entire purpose is to reach out to the disabled people in the communities, especially kids, and try and include them in what a normal kid would be able to do through the car. Typically the kids that we deal with have a lot of mobility issues for these things. So the cars that we build are kind of in a way to compensate for that. If they can’t run as fast as a normal kid would be, then they can drive as fast as they can.”
How They Did It
Lennick explained how they were able to pull off making the beautiful creation. “We talked with all of the adults in her life and figured out what were the aspects that we needed to include in the car and what would be best for her, and then what were some of her interests and we could make the car look pretty for her. From there, we have the contact for the physical therapist and then we just brainstorm together [like] what are some things that would really benefit the candidate the best, and then just go from there.” The car can be used either with a pedal system (for Lindau’s physical therapy) or the child can simply use her hands so that she can get around easily.
The Big Moment
After three months of hard work and dedication, the students presented the little girl with her new car.
Lennick gushed, “As soon as she saw it, she ran to the car and threw her body on the hood and was just saying, ‘My princess car, I love my princess car.’ She really enjoyed driving it around. She had four siblings and they were all running up and down the hallway and it was just absolutely amazing to watch all five of them.”
America’s Next Great Author is a reality show about writers that ultimately pits six novelists against one another as they all compete to finish a book. It’s exactly what it sounds like. The project, which is still in its early stages, is now seeking submissions from writers who are interested in appearing in the pilot episode.
Six Finalists Will Fight for the Title of “America’s Next Great Author”
The Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander will host the program, which will give the publishing industry an American Idol-style makeover. In the beginning, competitors will compete in tryouts where they will pitch a book in one minute in towns all across the nation. Six finalists will be selected from among the pitch competition winners and they’ll fight for the title of America’s Next Great Author.
The finalists will now share a home during a one-month writing boot camp. By the conclusion of the 30 days, a novel should have been written. The show’s creators, David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut will act as mentors. They also established Pitchapalooza, a slightly comparable competition, roughly ten years ago. The two will collaborate with the competitors on storytelling exercises throughout the boot camp. According to Sterry, these exercises would “show off a writer’s ability to use words, think quickly, and be imaginative.” Joanne O’Sullivan of Publishers Weekly quotes Sterry.
Young adult and adult literature, as well as memoirs, will be the main topics of this season. However, the show’s creators intend to focus future seasons on other topics, such as thrillers, fantasy, and romance.
Publishing a Book Can Be Difficult
It’s always been difficult to publish a book, and it’s considerably more difficult for authors of color. The New York Times discovered that 89% of books released in 2018 were written by white authors.
The judges for the pilot, which will be filmed in San Francisco this fall, will be comedian Marga Gomez, author Jason Reynolds, and FOX5 TV host Angie Goff.
According to the series’ website, it aims to support authors “who aren’t typically granted a seat at the table in mainstream publishing.” Contestants don’t have to be graduates of prestigious MFA programs that essentially promise access to the publishing industry. Writers from various groups and cultures in America who share their distinctive voices with readers, and the literary community, will be included in the series.