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Children share words of wisdom

Woodbury resident Trina Dawkins Patterson truly believes all children need a little inspiration.

"We all need some inspiration now and then," Patterson said. "We all need that boost of confidence through encouraging words."

However, children don't always get the message when it comes from adults, which is why Patterson's newest book, "Great Inspirations by a Few Great Kids," is entirely made up of motivational quotes, poems and stories - all written by children.

"When you hear a message from a kid who has been through that, they can relate more," Patterson said. "It's a book by kids for kids."

"Great Inspirations by a Few Great Kids" was released last month.

Written by children

Patterson recruited friends and family for her children contributors.

"It was just word of mouth," she said.

Any child who was interested in contributing to Patterson's book then sent in submissions on a website she had set up.

Submissions ranged in topics, such as friendship, perseverance, self-discovery and faith.

A total of 50 children, in a wide range of ages, contributed to "Great Inspirations by a Few Great Kids," including some from right here in Woodbury.

Patterson said she did meet one-on-one with some of her contributing writers since they didn't know exactly what to write.

"Some of the kids thought that what they had to say wasn't important," she said. "I kept telling them, 'Your words will inspire kids all over the world.'

"I wanted them to know what they had to say was important and that they can make a difference."

5,000 books, 5,000 kids

In conjunction with Patterson's organization, The Cookie Movement, a motivational group that talks to students about self-esteem, friendship and acceptance, she has pledged to get "Great Inspiration by a Few Great Kids" into the hands of at least 5,000 children from around the world.

Patterson is hoping to accomplish her goal in two ways: for every 25 books that are ordered by a group or organization, Patterson will match the order; and for every book that is purchased at retail price, Patterson will donate $1 to one of five youth organizations, for a total of $1,000 each, to go toward the purchase of books and other expenses.

"I'm really serious about getting this into the hands of kids," she said.

Patterson said she is also hoping to partner with area schools in order to provide books to students.

"I thought it would be really great to have (children) take this book back to school with them," she said. "A lot of times, the beginning of the school year is kind of hard. Hopefully the books will help them get started in a positive way."

Books with a message

Patterson said writing books with a message is an important facet of her writing.

Whereas "Great Inspirations by a Few Great Kids" shares the message of inspiration, motivation and hope, Patterson's first book, "A Tale of Two Cookies," shared the message of acceptance.

Additionally, Patterson's next book will address the topic of being brave in the face of fear.

"I just love being able to reach kids in a way that gives them a message of inspiration and that will help them find their success," she said. "I love to put messages in a book and on pages."

Patterson said she hopes to continue sharing important messages through her writing.

"Sometimes when you read something you can receive it differently than if we're just hearing it," she said. "If we're reading it, we're processing it and having an opportunity to think about what we're reading - it can touch you in a different way."

Trina Dawkins Patterson's book, "Great Inspirations by a Few Great Kids" can be purchased on her website, or on

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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