Fourth and fifth graders at Carver Heights Elementary School recently held a publishing party to celebrate their combined efforts capturing their trip to perform in Raleigh.

Dorothy Hardy, a retired educator with Wayne County Public Schools, said 22 students from the chorus traveled to the Convention Center to perform for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. A member of the Gold-Wayne Chapter of Fayetteville State University Alumni Association, she said she is also a member of AKA.

“The Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference includes AKAs from all over North Carolina and Virginia,” she said. “Our Eastern Carolina Cluster hosted the regional (event), and our chapter was responsible for hosting the first big meeting. We chose Carver Heights chorus for entertainment. The chapter rented the tuxedos, purchased the dresses for the girls and provided transportation to and from the Raleigh Convention Center.

“It was a fantastic experience for the students.”

For some, it was their first trip to the capital city, as well as the first time for the young men to wear a tuxedo and the young ladies to don a formal dress, she said. So it seemed only fitting to commemorate the occasion in a lasting way — publishing a book.

The students were encouraged to write about traveling to Raleigh. The effort was coordinated with Kevin Alston, CHE choral director, and FSU chapter members assisted in editing and preparing the submissions for publication.

“I spearheaded the project as a volunteer for the school,” Hardy said. “Carver Heights had an after-school program from 3 until 4 p.m. for three days each week. Since the choral students who performed in Raleigh were a combination of third and fourth graders, it was convenient for our alumni chapter members to work with them as a group after school to edit their narratives.”

Then FSU hosted a celebration of the fledgling authors in the school media center. Students read their submissions from the book, which was titled “A Fantastic Experience.”

The chapter made sure every student received a copy of the book, Hardy added. Parents were able to order them for their child, and some sorority members paid for those unable to afford a copy.