Local educators want to take children on a Michigan adventure

Shannon Cooper-Toma, MSU Basketball Coach Tom Izzo, Tracy Foster

Two Mid-Michigan educators have authored a book that can take children to magical places beyond the classroom. It's titled "Benson's Adventures in Michigan." The children's book highlights a fictitious cartoon turtle character's journey as he travels to Michigan landmarks and vacation destinations that are ranked among the top places to visit in the world.

The character, Benson, visits ten Michigan cities and in each city he shares his experiences at two different hot spots. Two of the cities featured in the book are in Mid-Michigan: Flint and Midland.

While in Flint Benson talks about the Flint Youth Theatre and even meeting basketball star Morris Peterson Jr. He highlights Peterson's focus on community and encourages children to find ways to give back.

When Benson stops in Midland he explores the Chippewa Nature Center and hits the ballpark for a Great Lakes Loons game at Dow Diamond.

"We believe children should be curious, inspired and encouraged to dream big," said co-author Shannon Cooper-Toma.

Cooper-Toma is currently an early childhood school principal in Corunna, Michigan. She says she wants to get "Benson's Adventures" in the hands of as many children as possible.

"Educators can use this book too, possibly as field trip experiences or inspirations, and just to think outside the box," said Cooper-Toma.

The book's co-author, Tracy Foster, was named Corunna Public Schools’ 2015–2016 Teacher of the Year. She has been teaching elementary and middle school children for eighteen years.

"Even if they (children) can't travel, they can still travel through the book and through their imaginations to help them dream big as well," said Foster.

The entire book centers around Michigan's popular destinations and includes other landmark destinations like Mackinac Island, Petoskey, Detroit, Lansing, Traverse City and Grand Rapids.

"We continue to be surprised by the number of Michigan children who have never seen the Mackinac Bridge, been to a state park or visited a Great Lakes beach," said Foster.

"Benson's Adventures in Michigan" will be available on July 18th. Copies of the book can be pre-ordered on their website: http://bensonsadventures.com

Copyright 2016 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.



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