Forest Children Program Publishes Their First Book
by Tracy & Kiesa
The Forest Children Program (FCP) has been celebrating a big accomplishment. The students published a book entitled Princess Gilanee, about how Princess Gilanee and her horse, Pal, united the elements of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire to bring peace to their community.
The book was one of the focal points of last year’s curriculum for this integrative homeschool resource and enrichment program, now in its fifth year at Earthaven. The program includes Earthaven members’ children and children from local families as well. It currently involves less than a dozen children, ages 6 through 12, and meets three days a week, weaving together individual homeschooling and a supplemental experiential program that provides each child with personal attention and focus.
When Kiesa Kay became coordinator of the FCP in 2006, she came with a project. Her author friend, Robin Carrington, dying from melanoma. asked her friend Kiesa to finish a book Robin had begun but would not be able to finish. She feared her children and grandchildren wouldn’t be able to hear her stories about Princess Gilanee.
Kiesa brought the two chapters Robin had completed to the Forest Children, and they immediately offered to help. After reviewing the mind map for the book, their creative work began. Dylan, Cory, Noah, Nimuae, Soleil, Malachi, and Yeshua worked together through the school year to bring the book to life.
Princess Gilanee tells the story of how one girl and her horse succeeded in uniting feuding tribes by helping them realize they were all one tribe and must work together. Along the journey, Gilanee makes important discoveries about herself, as well.
The children visualized the homes, clothes, and conversations of the various Earth, Water, Air and Fire element people. They acted out scenes that hadn’t been written yet, working with the ideas they’d added to Robin’s original vision. The completed version says a lot about being one with nature and living joyfully. The coordinator typed up their stories, blending them with Robin’s work, and arranged for the book to be published through Sheridan Books and Bremner Press. The story of Princess Gilanee and the element people appeals to adults and children, with its timeless message of one tribe, love, and resilience.
Princess Gilanee is available for a $10 donation to the Forest Children Program.
Donations account for about 40% of the FCP’s income (tuition accounts for the rest). Your contribution helps keep the Forest Children Program open and thriving. Your donation can also help support the funding of a playground by designating the purpose of your gift on your check.
The Forest Children Program Vision
We envision a world of people living sustainably, thinking independently, making decisions cooperatively, nurturing healthy children, families and communities, and allowing the flow of divine spirit through everything.
We take advantage of our natural setting in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina to encourage each child to develop a deeper understanding of the cycles of nature and sustainable stewardship of the earth.