Fender-Cover-WebElementary-age children in Oskaloosa have an exciting new way to learn about the history and culture of their community. Osky Pride, an ABC book by Ann Fender, acquaints kids with the city’s important landmarks, from the bandstand and the courthouse to Jaarsma Bakery, Keomah State Park and William Penn University.

Fender taught in the Oskaloosa Community School District for 21 years, mostly in first grade for the past 10 years, and she got the idea for the book from her time spent in the classroom. “In the elementary building the staff had a system of signaling the students to get quiet and listen by saying ‘Osky.’ The students would reply with ‘Pride’,” said Fender. “Linda Fox, who at the time was the youth librarian at the Oskaloosa Public Library, and I began to wonder if the students really understood the meaning of Osky Pride. So with her encouragement, our shared love for children and my passion for photography, the journey of this book began.”

Current Oskaloosa Elementary School and Oskaloosa Christian School first graders will receive a special surprise this spring—Fender will be gifting each of them with a copy of Osky Pride. “I hope this book helps kids enjoy learning about Osky Pride,” Fender continued. “We have so much to be proud of in Oskaloosa, Iowa.”

Osky Pride can be purchased by contacting Fender at annfender@mahaska.org or 641-673-8364. The book was published by the Write Place in Pella, Iowa, and it can also be ordered online at the Write Place bookstore.

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