Ms. Kyrsten Amanto is an educator at Saint Maximilian Kolbe School in
Ms. Kyrsten Amanto, a kindergarten teacher at Saint Maximilian Kolbe School in West Chester (Chester County) recently published her first book, Pepper the Pointer.
The narrative follows the main characters, Kyky and Pepper. Kyky tends to mind her own business, but her best bud Pepper points out things around them to teach Kyky valuable lessons.
The genesis for the book came during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when Ms. Amanto spent a lot of time at home with her dog, Pepper, a two-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, watching media reports of civil unrest and an overall lack of kindness and compassion in society.
Ms. Kyrsten Amanto said, “In school, especially for our younger students, kindness, and compassion is not just something we talk about, but something that should be constantly modeled and then praised when demonstrated.” Ms. Amanto continued, “…I wanted to create something that could prompt a larger conversation about getting involved in issues that don’t directly affect one’s self. Being able to center this important idea around my smart, precious dog, that both myself and my students love is an added bonus.”
Ms. Amanto worked with QBN Studios on illustrations to bring her vision of Kyky and Pepper to life in the book. The author and illustrator would meet weekly over Zoom to review drawings. Ms. Amanto also provided her students with an opportunity to be a part of the process by inviting them to view the draft illustrations along the way.
Dr. Andrew McLaughlin, Secretary for Elementary Education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said, “On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Elementary Education, I extend prayerful congratulations to Kyrsten on the publication of her first book Pepper the Pointer.” Dr. McLaughlin continued, “Teachers play a pivotal role in helping to shape the minds of our students. I commend Kyrsten for creating a book that can help our young people learn valuable life lessons.”
Ms. Amanto’s kindergarten class recently gathered outside social distanced to hear the story of Pepper the Pointer. Pepper was also present for the reading. Pepper the Pointer is available in paperback or Nook Book at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon in paperback.
Background Information on Ms. Kyrsten Amanto:
This is Ms. Amanto’s first year teaching kindergarten at Saint Maximilian Kolbe School. She previously taught kindergarten at Saint Bernadette of Lourdes School in Drexel Hill (Delaware County). Ms. Amanto attended Saint Eugene School in Primos (Delaware County).
Ms. Amanto is a 2014 graduate of West Chester University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a minor in Creative Writing. In 2018, she earned her Teacher Certification and in 2020, Ms. Amanto earned her Master of Education in Early Childhood Education both from West Chester University.