Carson Montessori kindergartners get started on memoirs |

Carson Montessori kindergartners get started on memoirs

Teri Vance
Ellie Ruffner, 5, works on her portrait at Carson Montessori on Thursday morning.
Shannon Litz/ | Nevada Appeal

When Ava Castle grows up, she wants to remember “doing the projects and looking at all the animals” from her kindergarten days at Carson Montessori School.

She’s on her way to doing so; the 5-year-old got started Thursday on her memoir book, “Now I am in Kindergarten.”

Local author Delane Pennington introduced the book to the kindergarten class, inviting pupils to fill out the first pages, which included their basic information and a drawing of themselves.

“I’m a rock star,” Uriel Delgado Macias, 5, said of his self-portrait. “I’m riding a skateboard.”

Pennington, a retired teacher, wrote the book in 2009 as a way to help parents keep track of their child’s first year of school. This year, she developed sponsorships with businesses to provide books to certain kindergarten classrooms in Carson City, Dayton and Douglas County.

Teachers will help students fill out a portion of the book — which documents handwriting, artwork, photos and other interests throughout the year — and send it home for parents to help complete other parts.

“It’s so useful because it goes home as an assignment with a deadline,” said Sonja Helfenstein, kindergarten teacher at Carson Montessori School. “By the end of the year, it will be all done. It’s not like the pictures sitting in your drawer that never get into an album.”

Students examined their features in mirrors before starting their drawings. William Houk, 5, didn’t take it too literally.

“I like to draw things like I’m a spider,” he said. “I have a nose and eight eyes and a face and palps. Spiders use their palps for holding.”

Pennington was pleased to introduce the book to the children and to get them started in preserving their memories.

“It’s so much fun to see their faces just light up,” she said. “At this age, their world revolves around themselves, and this book is all about them.”