Television Journalist and Author Cheryl Wills Launches New Children's Book About Her Enslaved Ancestors

Press Release ( - New York, NY USA - Nov 17, 2015 - ​The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills is a powerful story of an enslaved man from Tennessee who won his freedom by fighting in the Civil War. Told through the eyes of descendant Cheryl Wills, this brilliantly illustrated children’s book provides students with a personable Civil War history lesson and an inspiration for them to trace their family roots.

Cheryl Wills, anchor and senior reporter with NY1 News in New York City, has teamed up with K–12 curriculum provider Lightswitch Learning to offer students and families a heartwarming tale based on the true story of Civil War soldier Sandy Wills with lessons of perseverance, imagination, courage, and freedom. The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills was edited by award-winning Chicago-based educator Marilyn Rhames, who also developed the supporting depth of knowledge questions featured in the book.

Ron Sussman, President at Lightswitch Learning shares “In addition to being a compelling story for young students, this book is designed to be a tool for educators as it provides teachable moments about resiliency, genealogy, historical mapping, and lessons on the American Civil War.”

Dominique Young, VP, Marketing

This children’s book comes at a time when many educational publishers are yielding to political pressure to distemper the pivotal role of slavery in United States history.  “Descendants of Africans who were enslaved should proudly share their family’s slave legacy, which has sadly been distorted in history books for generations.” Wills says. “This is a matter we must address with the power of our own pen.”

Wills’s first biography, Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale, delivered a captivating narrative filled with historical records that traced her father’s bloodline from modern-day New York City to 19th-century slave plantations in Tennessee. The success of this biography ignited the demand for a new picture book that would reach younger students and help educators teach the value and practice of tracing family roots.

Cheryl Wills is an anchor and senior reporter for Time Warner Cable’s flagship national news network, New York One News. Cheryl is the only journalist in the nearly 25-year history of her television network to conduct a one-on-one interview with a sitting president: Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. Cheryl also conducted an exclusive sit-down interview with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. She is the recipient of the Harold Dow Lifetime Achievement Award given by McDonald’s in recognition of journalists of excellence and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by New York College of Health Professions.

For more than 40 years, the Lightswitch Learning team has been a partner to parents and educators by providing the highest-quality family resources and educational materials. Our mission is to help parents and students be the best they can be, and to provide the information that parents need to help their children succeed socially, emotionally, and physically.            

Business Info :
Lightswitch Learning
CATEGORIES : Books Public Schools
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