The date is set. On the evening of August 11, 2023, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the book, WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR.
This was one of my all-time favorite projects. With the full support of our public school system, I formed a committee of more than fifteen teachers and we asked the district’s 24,000 students Prek-12 and 2,400 staff members to finish the prompt, “What I’ve learned so far is…“
More than 12,000 students and staff responded. My committee and I pared the contributions down to 1,100. After students illustrated the book, I had it printed in Cassville, Missouri, got it copyrighted, registered it with the Library of Congress, obtained an ISBN number, and we started selling our masterpiece. It was by every measurement a runaway success.
I’ll tell you more about the book and how we marketed and celebrated it when we get closer to the upcoming event. I will mention now that I quoted from the book in commencement speeches at Missouri State University and Drury University. I called the talk, “Never Go Camping with One Pack of Hotdogs.” You can read it on my website at http://davidlharrison.com . Go to VISITS and click on the picture of me speaking.
For now the focus is on finding authors and illustrators of the original book. The youngest author, 4-years-old then, will turn 34 next year. The oldest, then, was 18. Between now and August we want to reach as many as possible of those 1,100 contributors to WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR and invite them to the party to celebrate their achievement. If you are one of them, or know someone who was, it’s not too soon to make plans to attend. It promises to be a milestone event!