Coach Spearman Publishes Children's Book
As if running Heathwood’s strength and conditioning program, coaching football, and heading up the Bigger Than Sports Foundation wasn’t enough, Heathwood Strength Coach Jay Spearman is now also an author. His children’s book, I Am Chosen To Be a Friend, was published last spring, and it may be the first of many.
Written for children ages 4-10, I Am Chosen To Be a Friend tells the story of Jayce, a young boy whose parents’ military careers compel him to move to a new town where he doesn’t know anyone. Jayce is unhappy about having to start all over at a new school, but his mom gives him a simple piece of advice” “To make a friend, you have to be a friend.” Still, Jayce struggles until a classmate who shares his love of sports shows him how easy both being a friend and making a friend can be. From there on, everything falls into place, and soon Jayce is thriving in his new community.
The idea for the book came from Coach Spearman’s work with children in the youth camps he runs through his Bigger Than Sports, SC Foundation, which helps young athletes grow as people and find greater purpose in life. The foundation’s five key principles are connecting, learning, teaching, serving, and love; and, says Coach Spearman, “It all starts with connection, and there’s nothing more fundamental to connection than knowing how to make friends.”
The book came together with the help of Coach Spearman’s cousin Brandon Leaks, a graphic designer who created the illustrations, and his sister-in-law Ashley Davis, Ed.D, a longtime elementary educator, who helped him tailor his message to a young audience. Having two strong collaborators in his own immediate circle was, he notes, proof of the book’s central message about the value of friendship and connections.
Since the book’s publication, Coach Spearman has shared it with audiences at Heathwood and elsewhere. It is for sale on amazon.com and will likely be just the first in a series of books in the I Am Chosen To series—so stay tuned for more!
All proceeds from book sales are donated to organizations around South Carolina that support the development of youth.