Jack and the Magic Soccer BallUpdated Tuesday October 29, 2019 by Joe Camarda.
The Rocky Point School District has among its faculty a newly published author. Mr. Peter Costa, a reading teacher at JAE since 2010, wrote the book, “Jack and the Magic Soccer Ball,” as an inspirational story that helps to transform its main character from a struggling player on the team to a standout participant in the sport.
Mr. Costa said that the book was something he has always wanted to accomplish and his many years of coaching soccer – as an assistant coach for Suffolk Community College for five years, the Long Island Junior Soccer League for Rocky Point Youth Soccer Club since 2007, the Rocky Point Middle School team for three years and the past five years as the girls varsity soccer coach – was only part of numerous reasons to complete it.
His children, Peter (Rocky Point High School Class of 2014), Emma (Class of 2015), and Jack (Class of 2018), niece Vanessa (Class of 2017), nephew Joseph (Class of 2019) are all represented in the book. He coached each of them on the Rocky Point teams and found his inspiration for the story during the times they spent on the soccer field together, citing them as great experiences in bonding as well as learning some life lessons. He also sent photos of them to the publisher who used the likenesses as the illustrated characters in the story. Niece Stephanie-Lynn, nephews Christopher and Ryan and his wife Jean, who just started at JAE as a counselor in September also served as motivating factors in the finished picture book.
“As a reading teacher I have to encourage struggling readers to do the one thing they don’t want to do, read,” Mr. Costa said. “I do my best to make the students want to read with me. I hope that by creating a safe and fun environment that students will take chances and are encouraged and inspired to learn.”
Mr. Costa is excited about the attention the book is getting and is planning a few events to promote it – perhaps a signing in the near future and a possible author talk for students in JAE to review the process of having a book published.
“I do want readers to think about the story and come to a conclusion about the message…that hard work and practice can be the difference in achieving your goals,” Mr. Costa said.