‘Remember Who You Are and Where You Come From’: Local Teacher to Publish Book About West Virginia | Journal-news
Mill Creek Intermediate teacher Kacy Harmon remembered something her dad always tells her whenever she embarks on her next big chapter, like leaving for college.
“Don’t forget who you are and where you come from,” she said.
Harmon hopes to pass that on to her students and many others with the release of her new book, “My West Virginia Adventure,” which she announced on National West Virginia Day on Tuesday.
The book is a pseudo-activity book, with places to visit in all 55 counties and places to share memories.
“That’s really what drove the book: I want to share it with kids and their families,” Harmon said. “So, especially for the past two years, we’ve been spending time online and on our phones, not going out and being able to explore, do different things. I really want this to be a way for families to spend time together.
This sharing began with his own family.
Harmon was tasked with getting her cousin and her husband — new parents at the time — something for Christmas in 2020, and Harmon’s family is big on experiences as gifts.
She was looking for something to do for them as new parents, something to bring their new son into the fold.
“I made an Airbnb gift card. I made a photo journal of West Virginia and found a map on Etsy where you could check off places you’ve been,” Harmon said. I was like, ‘I wish there was something for Daniel that as he gets older he can work in, like an activity book.’ It gave me the idea that “if I can’t find one, I could write one about exploring West Virginia”.
The thought stayed with Harmon as she embarked on the search, finding the best tourist attractions and hidden gems in West Virginia.
As a native of West Virginia, the research process allowed Harmon to find places for her own family to visit, as well as a chance to reflect on the places she has visited throughout her life.
“For spring break, my husband and I are going to Moundsville, which is so funny,” she laughed. “I tell people, ‘For spring break, I’m going to Moundsville, West Virginia,’ and they’re like, ‘Why?’ I’m excited to see the Northern Panhandle.
The couple will visit the West Virginia Penitentiary, the Palace of Gold and the largest teapot in the world.
Harmon shared that her parents grew up in Charleston, her family has returned to the area many times, and she was able to recall memories from long ago as she continued to look around the area.
“Looking at all the different things in Kanawha County and the southern part of the state, it was pretty cool, because I remembered a lot of things. I used to go to the state social studies fair when I was in fifth grade, so I remember going to the Clay Center. We went to the Good Zoo.
Thinking back to West Virginia Wesleyan University, Harmon added, “A lot of my time in Upshur County, when I was in college, I was driving around and seeing a lot of places. A lot of the state parks I mentioned were things we would (do) – go on a weekend day trip, swim in the pools, things like that.
Her mother, Susan Shafer, laughed as she said Harmon’s love for the state has always been evident through her college and teaching careers, through insight into the state that Harmon created with his uncle who hung in his dorm, an outline that was nearly 5 feet tall. .
As Harmon considered all the places she had discovered, the large amount was a symbol not only of her love for the state, but also of what she hopes the book will serve to do.
“I love our state. I love showing it off. I have gigantic West Virginians all over my classroom and famous West Virginians on my wall,” Harmon laughed. “I just have so much pride in our state, and I think sometimes we get a bad rap about our state, people like to choose fun. Really, they just need to come see for themselves and see the wonderful things our state has to offer.
“My West Virginia Adventure” is available to order on Amazon, and Harmon will be looking at other outlets as well. She will hold a meet and book signing on April 29 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Jordan and Hess Co at 202 S. Queen St. in Martinsburg.
To follow Harmon’s author information, check out Perfect Harmony Designs on Instagram and Facebook.