She's a second grade teacher and a mental health professional for kids with psychological disabilities, but Kimberly Anderson always had her sights set on something more.
"My dream was always to be an author," said Anderson, who reaches at Oklahoma City Public Schools' Green Pastures. "I wanted to write things that would help the kids I work with."
She recently self-published a book called "Be Kind." The book focuses on kindness and compassion and was inspired by her experiences as a teacher. There's a social skills component in the content of the book, Anderson said, and a literacy component in the back of the book.
"Second graders in my classroom can read, but they don't always comprehend what they read," she said. "I wanted to put some curriculum in the back of the book so that parents and teachers can use that as they go through the book."
She asked her sister's children to help her pick what animals would be the main characters of the book, she said, and she named two of the characters after her niece and her niece's friend.
"After school I work with children with psychological disabilities," she said. "A big thing we work on is their social skills. A lot of them don't know about manners or being kind so I wanted a book I could read with them that would reinforce those things."
The book and curriculum included in the book is meant for ages 5-9 but can be enjoyed by all ages. She's gotten great feedback from her students who have read the book so far.
"My students love the book," she said, "and they're excited to know their teacher is an author. I believe it helps them believe they can do anything to see me chase after a passion of mine."
If you want to inspire your kids to read and write by meeting local authors, Anderson and several other Oklahoma authors will be at Full Circle Bookstore's New Ink Signing from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 21.