ROMA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Rio Grande Valley educator has combined her love for teaching and learning to self-publish her first children’s book.
Maricela Cavazos-Flores, a speech therapist with the Roma Independent School District, is staying true to her roots in creating building blocks for a younger generation of students in the same city she grew up in.
Born and raised in Roma, Cavazos-Flores started her career in education as a teacher in 1992 for Roma ISD.
The self-published author began teaching at F.J. Scott Elementary School and transferred to Emma Vera Elementary School before working as a speech therapist in 2014.
During her decades of teaching, Cavazos-Flores discovered a new life goal of self-publishing a children’s book.
“It has always been a lifelong dream to be a published author,” Cavazos-Flores said.
“Wandering Drone,” is a book about a boy that receives a gift that brings new excitement into his life.
Cavazos-Flores said she worked on the book works during both school lessons with her students and outside of the classroom.
“There were years when I started teaching, I would write little rhymes for my students on the board so they could copy,” Cavazos-Flores said. “They would practice rhyming the words and they would practice certain words that I wanted them to learn and I enjoyed that.”
In the course of giving teaching her students, Cavazos-Flores would collectively write and store her rhymes in a binder to incorporate in the children’s book.
She says she found inspiration for “Wandering Drone” from her students as an ode to people across all age groups to expand their knowledge and instill a love for reading.
“There’s a need for students to learn certain words and to learn rhyming words. And so that’s how it got started for me,” Cavazos-Flores said.
Cavazos-Flores’ colleague and longtime friend Maricruz Velazquez was the illustrator for “Wandering Drone”.
The two Roma ISD educators celebrated their book launch during Read Across America Day on March 2.
The district invited Cavazos-Flores and Velazquez to read “Wandering Drone” to elementary students across the school district and inform them on the importance of reading.
“I spoke to them about why we celebrate National Read Across America Day. I read them the story and I had a little boy help me read the story,” Cavazos-Flores said.
The author also spoke to students about how reading is an act of kindness to oneself and to others.
“I talked to them about how reading a book to a younger sibling or to grandparents or even especially themselves that they are being kind to themselves because they’re the ones learning a new vocabulary, developing their comprehension and fluency,” Cavazos-Flores said. “So, they’re being kind to themselves when they read a book and they’re being kind to others when they read to others.”
“Wandering Drone” is available at Target stores and on Amazon.