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An amazing book about the author's father & his relationship with writer William Faulkner who generously paid for him to go to college.
An amazing book about the author's father & his relationship with writer William Faulkner who generously paid for him to go to college.
68 backers pledged $6,076 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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What Is Pass It On! About?

Pass It On! by Gloria J. McEwen Burgess and illustrated by Gerald Purnell is a children’s picture book about the author’s father, Earnest McEwen Jr., and his life-changing relationship with Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Faulkner. As a young boy, Ernie (Earnest McEwen Jr.) dreamed of a better life for his family in the segregated South of the 1930s. More than anything, he wanted to go to college. 

Ernie Loved Books
Ernie Loved Books

While working as a janitor at Ol’ Miss (the University of Mississippi), Ernie spoke to a professor about his burning desire to go to college, setting in motion a series of events that would change his and his family’s life for all time. One of those significant events was meeting Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Faulkner. 

Ernie Talking With William Faulkner
Ernie Talking With William Faulkner

Faulkner helped Ernie attend college, paying for his tuition and expenses with no strings attached. His generous financial gift allowed Ernie to go to college, move out of the South, and eventually emerge from poverty. Ernie made a better life for his family, who continue to live a legacy of life-long learning and service, passing on their blessings to the next generation and the next, creating a ripple effect that will bless generations to come.

Ernie, Millie, and Gloria
Ernie, Millie, and Gloria

 

Ernie's Parents Picking Cotton
Ernie's Parents Picking Cotton
 

What Prompted You To Write Pass It On!?

Author Gloria J. McEwen Burgess responds: I wrote this book for several reasons. As a testament to the indomitable power of the human spirit, this is a book that transcends the actual characters. Though it is a picture book for children, I hope it will resonate with people of all ages with its universal themes of gratitude, hope, and possibility—character qualities we all need in today’s complex global village.  

I also wrote it to honor and express my deep gratitude to my parents—Earnest McEwen, Jr. and Mildred Blackmon McEwen—for their faith, love, vision, perseverance, and servant hearts, and to express my profound gratitude to William Faulkner, benefactor, friend, and kindred spirit. These individuals acted in quite extraordinary ways, especially given the deep chasms and socials divides in the segregated South of the United States.

Ernie and Millie
Ernie and Millie
 

What Do You Hope To Pass On?

Author Gloria J. McEwen Burgess responds: I hope to pass on the core character qualities demonstrated by the people in the book—courage, compassion, determination, drive, hope, and a sense of possibility far greater than any one of the individuals.   

I truly believe that when we acknowledge the birthright dignity of others regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, age, etc., we can forge marvelous relationships and build bridges that endure across cultures, place, and time. This isn’t some Pollyanna idea. I know it’s possible, because I witnessed the fruits of my mother’s, my father’s, and Mr. Faulkner’s spirit. And I’m a product of their intertwined legacies.

Ernie and William Faulkner
Ernie and William Faulkner
 

Who Is The Illustrator?

Gerald Purnell’s art expresses his deep compassion and love for others. A fine artist and illustrator, his arresting, colorful art celebrates diversity and the indomitable power of the human spirit, winning him acclaim and numerous awards. Gerald’s artwork is featured on all 21 covers of the acclaimed Bluford series, young-adult novels distributed by Scholastic Books. 

He has been interviewed on WHYY radio and NPR. For his work with troubled youth, he received a letter of commendation from the city of Philadelphia. He also won the coveted Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement for the Betterment of Mankind in the children’s picture book category.

Ernie Walking Up To Rowan Oak
Ernie Walking Up To Rowan Oak
 

Who Is The Author?

Dr. Gloria J. McEwen Burgess loves nothing more than inspiring others to create a bridge from what was… to what is... to what can be. And she’s dedicated her life to doing just that. In all aspects of her life, she celebrates the indomitable power of the human spirit. As author, poet, leadership educator and consultant, inspirational speaker, and community servant, she is passionate about empowering and equipping youth and adults to create a positive, vibrant future.  

Founder and CEO of several for-profit and non-profit organizations, Dr. Burgess’s books include Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside and Flawless Leadership: Connecting Who You Are with What You Know and Do. She is currently working on a book series for young people based on her best-selling book, Legacy Living.
                                                          
Gloria J. McEwen Burgess
Gloria J. McEwen Burgess
 
                                                           

Risks and challenges

We (Two Sylvias Press) are an established publishing company in the Seattle area. We primarily publish poetry, memoir, books on the craft of writing, and creativity tools.

One of the main challenges for us with PASS IT ON! is venturing out of our usual genres and publishing a children's book for the first time. Part of the funds from this campaign will not only help us cover printing costs, but will help us cover the fee for a book designer.

Your support will also allow us to have a more extensive marketing outreach as we engage new audiences, which will not only include children (and grownup fans of beautifully written and illustrated children's books), but also libraries, schools, and programs that are literacy-based.

As a press, we only choose to publish books that we truly believe in and feel passionate about, and PASS IT ON! is a project that we have fallen in love with. The book's themes are incredibly timely given the state of our society and that of the current world, as PASS IT ON! demonstrates the importance of hope, endurance, and the triumph of human goodness.

By supporting this amazing children's book, you will be helping us (Gloria J. McEwen Burgess and Two Sylvias Press) to bring the message of generosity, kindness, and acceptance to children during their formative years. And, you will help us to send a positive message about learning, education, and staying true to our dreams and goals.

Thank you for your support and for helping us to PASS IT ON!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Random Act of Kindness

    You will receive 3 postcards with illustrations from PASS IT ON!

    Your name will appear on a special donor appreciation page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    PASS IT ON! (Signed)

    Receive a copy of the book PASS IT ON! signed by Gloria J. McEwen Burgess (limited to the first 100 copies).

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    PASS IT ON!

    Receive a copy of the book PASS IT ON!

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    PASS IT ON! and Journal (Signed)

    Receive a copy of PASS IT ON! signed by author Gloria J. McEwen Burgess (limited to the first 50).

    And receive a Companion Journal for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Limited 5 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    PASS IT ON! and Journal

    Receive a copy of PASS IT ON!

    And receive a Companion Journal for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    2 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (x2) & Lesson Plan

    Receive 2 copies of PASS IT ON! signed by author Gloria J. McEwen Burgess (limited to the first 25).

    And receive 2 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Limited 5 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (x2) & Lesson Plan

    Receive 2 copies of PASS IT ON!

    And receive 2 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Estimated delivery
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    1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (2) & 1 Signed PRINT

    Receive 2 copies of PASS IT ON! signed by author Gloria J. McEwen Burgess (limited to the first 25).

    And receive 2 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    You will also receive a limited edition 9 x 12 Print of an illustration from PASS IT ON! signed by artist Gerald Purnell (limited to the first 25).

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (2) & 1 PRINT

    Receive 2 copies of PASS IT ON!

    And receive 2 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    You will also receive a limited edition 9 x 12 Print of an illustration from PASS IT ON!

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (3) & 1 Signed PRINT

    Receive 3 copies of PASS IT ON! signed by author Gloria J. McEwen Burgess (limited to 25).

    And receive 3 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    You will also receive a limited edition 9 x 12 Print of an illustration from PASS IT ON! signed by artist Gerald Purnell (limited to the first 25).

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (3) & 1 PRINT

    Receive 3 copies of PASS IT ON!

    And receive 3 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    You will also receive limited edition 9 x 12 Print of an illustration from PASS IT ON!

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    2 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (x5), Print & Video

    Receive 5 copies of PASS IT ON! signed by author Gloria J. McEwen Burgess (limited to the first 10).

    And receive 5 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    You will also receive a limited edition 9 x 12 Print of an illustration from PASS IT ON! signed by artist Gerald Purnell (limited to the first 10).

    And you will receive access to a video of the author reading the book with a personal backer message.

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (x5), Print & Video

    Receive 5 copies of PASS IT ON!

    And receive 5 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    You will also receive a limited edition 9 x 12 Print of an illustration from PASS IT ON!

    And you will receive access to a video of the author reading the book with a personal backer message.

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (x20), Print & Video

    Receive 20 copies of PASS IT ON! (Signed by Gloria J. McEwen Burgess).

    And receive 20 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    You will also receive a limited edition 9 x 12 Print of an illustration from PASS IT ON! signed by artist Gerald Purnell.

    And you will receive access to a video of the author reading the book with a personal backer message.

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    PASS IT ON!/Journal (x40), Print & Video

    YOUR NAME WILL APPEAR ON A SPECIAL PAGE IN PASS IT ON!

    Receive 40 copies of PASS IT ON! (Signed by Gloria J. McEwen Burgess).

    And receive 40 Companion Journals for children (this 6 x 9 soft-cover journal provides the space for children to record acts of generosity, goals, drawings, doodles, stickers--whatever they want to write or draw inspired by PASS IT ON!).

    You will be sent a PDF Lesson Plan written by the author that will include activities to accompany the reading of PASS IT ON!

    You will also receive a limited edition 9 x 12 Print of an illustration from PASS IT ON! signed by artist Gerald Purnell.

    And you will receive access to a video of the author reading the book with a special backer message.

    Your name will also appear on the special donor page on our website and you will receive an invitation to join the PASS IT ON! Community Group.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)