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Author brings fiction to life during visit to Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary

Inside Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary School, fourth and fifth grade students have one hand holding open a book and the other hand clapping on their legs to mimic the sound of a dark, stormy night.

Author Chantel Acevedo was leading them on an interactive adventure, thanks to the kindness of a local group of book lovers.

Mrs. Acevado is the author of “Curse on Spectacle Key,” and a professor at the University of Miami.

The Literary Society at Waterlefe sponsored this visit. The group consists of several book clubs within Waterlefe community, located in east Manatee County.

Two members, who also happen to be retired educators, Susie Birrell and Nina Wolff, attended the special presentation at the school on February 2, 2024.

They say their neighbors are happy to give back to the community, and provide this opportunity for students in order to encourage a love of literacy in them.

The Waterlefe residents also provided funds for copies of the books which students read at school.

Young readers also incorporated the story into art and other classroom projects.

Ms. Johnson's fifth graders even wrote alternate endings to “Curse on Spectacle Key".  


The fictional tale is about a boy who befriends a pair of ghostly spirits and tries to break the curse on his island home.

Students were quite interested in hearing the stories behind the book, which was written by Mrs. Acevado during the COVID shutdown.

Many of the characters were named after her family and friends, and many places resemble current locations in south Florida.

Students quietly read along while the author read a passage, and giggled when classmates were assigned to make animal noises, such as owls and alligators, during the reading.

Media Specialist Fay Servoss was excited to welcome special guests into her beautiful new media center.

She’s inspired by students who are eager to read a good book.