When Conway native Wesley Peters was listening to a podcast in 2017, inspiration struck the then-20 year old.
“The guy said he was complaining to his wife that he was tired of children’s books that had no sustenance,” Peters said.
So, he decided to change that.
In just one day, he authored the children’s book “The Plant Doctor.” Kiana Robinson, a girlfriend of one of Peters’s Omega Psi Phi fraternity brothers, illustrated the book.
“The editing and publishing process took until May this year,” Peter said.
The book is intended to be a message of community engagement through family ties.
“We really believe no matter the demographic, you have a role to play in society,” Peters said. “You have gifts that if hidden, it hinders not only you but the rest of society. That’s one thing ‘Plant Doctor’ does is expose people to themselves and their creativity.”
In the book, a third-grade boy has to go the dentist after injuring his mouth in a fall from the monkey bars. As he’s headed to the dentist, which is not in his neighborhood, he sees parks that are much nicer than those closer to home.
“Why doesn’t our neighborhood look like the neighborhood by the dentist?” he asks his grandmother, who uses a garden as an analogy.
“Be observant of your surroundings, but don’t stop there, do something about it,” she says. “Don’t complain, be a plant doctor.”
Peters, along with Randy Blount, also founded the nonprofit Conducting Creativity.
“We started it because we want to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in kids,” Blount said. “We know that education is the foundation for them pursuing these dreams. Where can they get everything they need in one place?”
So the pair founded the nonprofit, which “partners with others who specialize in fields to talk to kids about those subjects” in schools across the state.
The group recently completed a three-day literacy tour at King Kids Academy in Little Rock.
“You could see the impact this type of thing has on those kids,” Blount said. “It was very powerful.”
After reading the book, they take the kids through the steps to write their own mini-pitches for a business before having a mini-pitch competition.
Joseph Davis, who was mentored by Conducting Creativity, said the pitch competition is a great tool.
“Helping younger kids realize how their special talents and creativity can inspire others [is one benefit],” he said. “Learning how to communicate their ideas through pitching helps them grow as a person and an entrepreneur.”
For more details, email Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org.