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Students write book for charity


Students from a Lower Hunter school have written and illustrated a book in 12 hours to raise $3,500 for a special cause.

A team from St John the Baptist Primary School Maitland completed the task in support of independent national charity The Kids’ Cancer Project and classmate Sienna Newton.

In May 2015, then Year 2 student Sienna was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma – a type of brain cancer.
Sienna, who received treatment for months at Westmead Children’s Hospital, wrote a dedication in the front of book, which was titled Lost but Found.

The Write a Book in a Day competition is a creative and challenging team competition for students in Year 5 to 12.

Teams of up to 10 need to write and illustrate a book from start to finish. To make it even more fun, unique parameters must be included in the story.

Completed books are donated to children in hospitals’ all over Australia, while funds raised through sponsorship go to The Kids’ Cancer Project.

Since 1993, the charity, backed by strong community support, has contributed millions of dollars to scientific research projects to help children with many types of cancer.

St John the Baptist teacher Alex Toscano said the competition proved to be a real challenge for the team, aptly named The Book Rookies.

“When we saw the competition, we thought it would be a great opportunity to help raise money that would not only help children like Sienna, but would allow us to write a book that would then be put into children’s hospitals throughout Australia,” she said.

The group was presented with a set of rules to follow during the challenge.

Some of these included a word count between 2,000 and 5,000; two human characters (a race car driver and a house painter); one non-human character (a monkey); a setting (dungeon); an issue (finding a new relative); and no outside help from anyone.

This year’s Write a Book in a Day competition has been the biggest yet, with the total fundraising figure sitting at $468,609 to date.

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