Lake Charles Native Jackie Simien Writes Childrens Book : Bonjour Tee Belle
You may know Jackie Simien from being the news anchor for the six and ten o’clock weeknights on KBMT-12 News.
Shortly after graduating from LSU-Baton Rouge in 1993 Jackie Simien moved to Beaumont, Texas where she currently resides and works as a news anchor. However, she is very much a Louisiana girl with deep and rich roots in Creole culture. She can thank her mom for that. As a matter of fact, her mother like many Creole folk her in Louisiana prefer to speak French as their first language. After all, it is.
It’s because of the found memories both past and present that inspired her to write her first children’s book “Bonjour, Tee Belle.” October, is case you didn’t know is actually Creole Heritage Month, so what better time than now to debut this wonderful book. “Bonjour Tee Belle” is a tribute not only to Jackie’s mother Annabelle Simien Amos of whom Tee Belle was inspired, but also the rich Creole culture here in Louisiana.
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Today Jackie debuted her book by going back to her old elementary school John J. Johnson II Elementary. Talk about things coming full circle. She offered a special treat and read the book in person for the very first time to the students there. The book not only offers a fun adventure with Tee Belle, but it also teaches French to young readers in a way they can understand. By the way, it’s geared toward children 1 yrs to 2nd grade.
You’ll be happy that “Bonjour, Tee Belle” is also the first, in a series of Creole children’s books featuring her mother as the heroine of the stories. Jackie said, “Tee Belle is my mother’s childhood nickname. My mother spoke only Creole French until the age of six and still prefers French to English when speaking, even today. In addition to highlighting Creole culture, young readers will learn words in French on each page.”
This book hits home in more ways than none beings that Jackie has been on a campaign to fight illiteracy for many years. Speaking of which, Jackie said “My mother never attended school a day in her life, and cannot read or write to this day. When you can’t read a lot of the world is cut off to you. No one should be crippled by the inability to read.”
For several years Simien served as a volunteer at the Beaumont Independent School District’s Head Start program, reading to the children twice a week. The author often visits schools throughout Southeast Texas delivering motivational speeches and teaching students about the journalism profession.
“Bonjour, Tee Belle,” was published by Beaumont based CUSH Communications. It retails for $11.99. Buy the book and follow Jackie Simien follow Jackie Simien on Twitter@Nuzladi, on Pinterest and www.Facebook.com/Jackiesimien.9 or any of three pages under her name.