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Lathrop School students hold book launch today
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LATHROP – About 190 Lathrop Elementary School students can honestly say they are nowbona fide published writers.

The proof is in the pages of a book that is being launched today at a celebration party taking place at 9 a.m. in the school gym.

The 128-page hardcover book was the brainchild of third-grade teacher Genevieve Beltran and her students. They did not even have to pay a cent for its publication. It was donated by Friesens Publishing Company in Manitoba, Canada, through the company’s manager Fred Perrin.

Beltran said the ball started rolling when she attended a writers’ conference in San Francisco in August of last year and met Perrin.

“I do writing myself,” said Beltran, which is why she makes it a point to go to those events. She has already completed three novels for which she is looking for a publisher. She is also a writer consultant for the Great Valley Writers Project.

At the San Francisco conference, Perrin “just offered (to print the students’ book) which is great! He just gave it to us as a donation,” Beltran said.

A copy of the book signed by all the students who took part in the project was sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday along with an invitation to visit the school.

All of the students in Beltran’s class, as well as those of another class, will each receive a copy of the book. The students’ written entries run the gamut – from poetry to short stories “mostly fiction and some nonfiction – a little bit of everything,” Beltran said. There’s even one entry that is a book report, she said.

Invited to attend this morning’s book party, to be held from 9 to 10 a.m., are the parents of the students.