Future educator Alicia Lloyd has puts nighttime fears to bed with a friendly children’s book that boosts reading proficiency while assuring youngsters to never be afraid of their monsters.
The young author is a 2009 graduate of Oxford Area High School and the Teacher Academy program at the Technical College High School (TCHS) Pennock’s Bridge Campus.
“I have had a passion for teaching since age 4, and becoming an author has always been on my bucket list,” Lloyd said. With the publishing of “When the Monsters are Quiet,” she combined the two interests and is proud to add published author to her resume.
Lloyd said the publishing process was surprisingly simple. The book was written in the span of one day in July, after a restless night of sleeping in an unfamiliar place.
“I’m 22 years old and still thinking there are monsters under my bed,” she said, describing how she told her boyfriend she eventually fell asleep only when the monsters were quiet. “I thought to myself, 'What a great title for a children’s book!'”
She typed line after line of the story into her iPhone, submitted the manuscript to Halo Publishing online and received a call a day later. Over the next few months, she balanced full-time coursework pursuing her bachelor’s degree in early grades preparation and special education at West Chester University with conference calls back and forth between the illustrator, editor and publisher to create the final product.
Lloyd’s education background is evident in the last two pages of the book, which feature reading comprehension questions and phonemic awareness exercises that translate neatly into any lesson plan. Lloyd said her WCU education classmates, happy to have a published peer, have already incorporated the book in their lesson plans throughout Chester County.
Teacher Academy is a senior-only program that features field site internship experience and prepares students to enter the teaching profession. Teacher Academy instructor Mary Rash began each class period with a different quote and one in particular – “Learn to read so you can read to learn” – stuck with the future author.
“It’s clear that Alicia took one of my favorite sayings to heart and has applied it to her future life as a teacher,” Rash said. “Her love of young children, especially those with special needs, has molded her future.”
“It’s extremely important for students to start learning how to retain information at an early age, and the best way to do so is to read stories that relate to them,” Lloyd said. “If it is something not in their interest area, then it is in one ear and out the other.”
Lloyd held a book signing at TCHS Pennock’s Bridge on Nov. 22, and plans to return as a guest speaker for the current Teacher Academy and Early Childhood Care & Education classrooms in coming weeks. She has already begun tossing around a few ideas for her next book.
“It’s phenomenal to have one of our graduates reach her dreams and be successful,” said Michael Katch, principal of TCHS Pennock’s Bridge. “What an inspiration to our current students!”
To learn more about “When the Monsters are Quiet,” visit www.halopublishing.com where the book can be ordered; or the author’s Facebook page: When the Monsters are Quiet – by Alicia Lloyd.