Liberty University Press released its first children’s publication, “Sparky’s ABC Adventure,” during Liberty University’s 2011 Homecoming weekend.
Liberty alumna and professor Jamaica Johnson Conner wrote the book so children can experience the iconic images, places and ideals that make Liberty “the world’s most exciting university.” During Sparky’s tour, he uses the letters of the alphabet and playful rhymes to take his reader on an entertaining and informative journey. Readers will fall in love with Sparky as his personality shines through his dialogue and the colorful illustrations, provided by Wendy S. Kerstetter, wife of a Liberty alumnus. Alumni and current students will enjoy sharing Sparky’s story with the young people in their lives, yielding a new generation of Flames’ fans.
In 1971, Reverend Jerry Falwell realized his dream of establishing a Christian college in Lynchburg, Va. as a ministry to people who wanted to receive a quality education in a Christian environment. During that first year, 154 students attended Lynchburg Baptist College. Over the years, the school grew, becoming Liberty University, and in addition to the ministry and education offered, students could also participate in competitive sports teams, known as the Flames, and other extracurricular activities. Forty years later, the school boasts 12,561 resident students, more than 61,000 students in the online program, and a variety of accredited academic programs. Liberty is now a destination, as well, hosting concerts and events and featuring a variety of facilities for the community to enjoy. Not only has Dr. Falwell’s dream come true and surpassed its origins, but it also served as inspiration for Liberty graduate, Jamaica Johnson Conner, to realize her own dream of writing a children’s book based on Liberty and featuring its beloved eagle mascot, Sparky.
For more information about Sparky’s ABC Adventure and sneak peeks of the illustrations, check out the blog: http://adventureswithsparky.wordpress.com/ and the Facebook page: Sparky’s ABC Adventure.
Jamaica Johnson Conner, M.Ed. graduated from Liberty University with a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Education and a Masters of Education degree in Teaching and Learning. For nine years, Conner taught English in both private and public institutions. She also served as a reviewer for a children’s book database. Currently, Conner teaches for Liberty University Online. Jamaica is married to her high school sweetheart, Terry. She and Terry live on a farm in Amherst, Va. with their daughter, Laura Grace.
The illustrator, Wendy S. Kerstetter, graduated from Shippensburg University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art. Wendy married a Liberty alumnus, Jeremy; they came to Lynchburg so Jeremy could study at Liberty Theological Seminary. While in Lynchburg, Wendy worked as Assistant Curator of the Jerry Falwell Museum and completed painting projects around TRBC and Liberty’s campus. Currently, Wendy stays at home with her children, Kara and Adley, and enjoys being a pastor's wife in central Pennsylvania.
Sparky’s ABC Adventure is now available at the Liberty University Bookstore and through www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.