With a subtle sense of humour and keen observation, Chelsea's writing sets free her imagination to share her wonderful tales.
I first met Chelsea when she was in Kindergarten class at St Francis of Assisi Primary School in Calwell ACT. I was employed by the Ronald Mc Learning Program which provides weekly tutors for a year for children who have missed out on schooling though illness or hospitalisation.
Chelsea and her twin sister Ebony had just started school and were in the same class as my little granddaughter Katie so it was a very happy choice for me.
Chelsea was born with Cerebral Palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. She is a lovely child, now 12 years old and growing into a lovely young lady. She and Ebony are the youngest in a wonderfully supportive family with four older siblings.
Chelsea is so interested in learning with ideas and opinions of her own and we have great discussions together. She keeps me busy going to the library to find books to support her latest interest whatever that might be. Could be anything! She also loves horse riding at the Pegasus riding school for the disabled, especially the feeling of independence it gives her.
After her first year of tutoring I continued in the role and it soon became apparent that she had a terrific imagination with such a passion for interesting stories. Chelsea’s physical restrictions give her plenty of time to observe people. As a result she has a deep understanding of how people think and feel, well beyond her years. She uses these ideas and observations to create wonderful stories. We can’t wait to get them down on paper and then to discuss them and weave them into a story. I must emphasise that it is Chelsea who is always in charge and who directs the story line.
Chelsea’s ideas and imagination flow faster than she can manage to keep up with using writing tools. So I decided to scribe for her so that we could get all of her ideas and thoughts on paper as quickly as possible. At home I type these stories so that we can read and re-read them to edit them together. Chelsea decided that it would be a good idea to familiarise herself with published children’s stories to give her ideas on suitable formats for little kids. Out of this she had more great ideas and plenty of unexpected humour. Last year she wrote her first chapter book – we both had a great sense of triumph about this. With the assistance of Christine our schools resource teacher, she began to read some of her stories to Kindergarten children.
Chelsea dreamt of becoming an author and publishing her stories for other children to read. If the Kinders at St Francis liked them so much why wouldn’t other children? But it was just a dream. Working together with Lisa and Linda, another teacher and a parent we were able to contact the right people and now this dream has become a reality.
You can’t imagine how wonderful it is for Chelsea to be set free through the use of her imagination and the publication of this book.