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Author helps students create story

An Abbotsford school has teamed up with a local author to rediscover school's longstanding history.

Upper Sumas Elementary has teamed up with local author Laura Thomas on a school-wide historical story project.

My School My Story began in January with Thomas giving each grade a specific research assignment, which led to the creation of a fictional story representing the school.

“We began by getting the students engaged in the history of the school, which in this case is very rich, and then we moved on to exploring the virtues that the school stands for,” said Thomas.

Upper Sumas is one of the oldest schools in the district.

It opened its doors in 1875 as a one-room, one-teacher school house. While some of these facts made their way into the short story that Thomas created with the students, the historical aspects were primarily used to generate settings for the story.

Thomas also used the school’s core virtues — kindness, respect, responsibility and safety — to create characters and the story problem.

Thomas recently visited every classroom to read the first draft of the story called “The Legend of the Fadden Traveler: How Bob and Selina Saved Upper Sumas School.”

Thomas will return to the school in September to help a group of students present the story at the annual back-to-school open house.

From there, it is hoped the story will be published as a children’s book written and illustrated by the students of Upper Sumas Elementary, with collaboration and guidance from Thomas.

For more information about the project, visit