Marshall County FRN Brings Local Author to Marshall County Schools

FRN Teams Up with Moundsville Native to Encourage Youth Community Engagement

Author Hilary Kinney visited Glen Dale Elementary School Thursday morning. This was her first time reading the book to students. The Dragons, pictured with Kinney, enjoyed the story.

The Marshall County FRN has teamed up with Hilary Kinney, a Moundsville native, in support of her efforts to encourage community engagement among youth. Kinney attended Marshall County Schools and is a graduate of West Virginia University. Recently, she wrote a children’s book, Penelope’s Petition, aimed at educating youth about the importance of being involved in community engagement.

The book follows the story of young Penelope, an 11-year-old girl who circulates a petition in her neighborhood to save her favorite park. The book focuses on teaching children about the First Amendment, leadership, and team work. The park Penelope sets out to save is inspired by Kinney’s favorite childhood park, East End Park in Moundsville. After Kinney finished the book, she sought support on the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, to help make Penelope’s Petition a reality. Nearly 100 donors supported the project, including the Marshall County FRN. The FRN then contacted Kinney about the possibility of her speaking with local students about her book and how they can be engaged in their communities.

“Community engagement is an important piece of a thriving community,” states Stacie Dei, executive director of the FRN. “If people are invested in and care about the place they call home, it will only benefit the community. We hope to foster this idea in the youth of our local communities and encourage them to be involved.”

In partnership with the FRN and Marshall County Schools, Kinney will visit each school and speak on Penelope’s Petition, tailored to the grade level of the students. During September, Kinney will visit five of the elementary schools in the county to read her book and share with students. Visits to additional schools will occur in November, and copies of the book will be given to each school. The FRN is pleased to have helped make the book a possibility and to sponsor the visits to Marshall County schools.

The Marshall County FRN is a catalyst for change, an organization that understands and is responsive to the needs and opportunities in the community. Partnering with community members and public and private organizations, the FRN develops innovative projects and provides needed resources for the area. For more information on the FRN, or Penelope’s Petition, please contact the Marshall County FRN at (304) 845-3300.