Second grader authors, ‘Hare’s Apology,’ to air on TV

YOUNG AUTHOR — A second-grader at Songo Locks School, Carly Dyer and her mom Dani Longley are excited to see the televised version of Dyer’s play, “Hare’s Apology.” Dyer’s writing was selected to be performed on “Green Screen Adventures,” an educational program that airs on Me-TV. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Seven-year-old Carly Dyer is thrilled that a play she has written is going to be televised.

Despite her excitement, she kept her accomplishment quiet. At school, she told only her best friend what had happened, and told her to watch it on television. After all, “Hare’s Apology” is about the importance of keeping friendships.

But, the second-grader’s good news did not stay mum for long.

When the Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting Company selected Dyer’s play “Hare’s Apology” for the TV show “Green Screen Adventures,” and after her play had been taped and scheduled to air, the company sent e-mails to Songo Locks Elementary School. The principal, the librarian, the music teacher, and all the second-grade teachers got that e-mail. So, everyone knew about the honor, and was given a website link to preview the production.

Meanwhile, at home, Carly had refused to explore the computer link even though her mom had already seen the play come to life before the second-grader got off the bus. Carly was prepared to wait for the official airing of “Hare’s Apology.”

“I wanted to see it on the TV, and make sure it came on,” she said.

But, as fate would have it, a TV was wheeled into her classroom and all her classmates were going to watch the show via computer link. So, she joined them.

“They were really happy,” Carly said, describing her peers’ response to the production.

Carly said she wrote “Hare’s Apology” especially for “Green Screen Adventures,” an Emmy® Award-winning educational program, which accepts illustrations and writings from students in second through eighth grade. Carly and her mom had been watching the show faithfully for about eight months.

“This was the first really big idea I had for writing,” she said during an interview at her school on Tuesday. “I think it is fun to write because I like to draw, and it is kind of like drawing except with words.”

Since kindergarten, Carly has kept a journal and a notebook for song lyrics.

“I write about my cat, Cosmo, and sometimes about my brother, Rueben,” she said. “I really write about what is going to happen or what had already happened.”

Carly summarized her story in her own words, “The narrator is the hare. The hare writes an apology letter to the tortoise. He goes to the post office to mail the apology letter. The tortoise goes to the mailbox and reads the letter. Then, he calls the hare and asks if he wants to be friends.”

Is there a children’s book on the horizon?

“I feel like I want to write it into a book and illustrate it, but I just haven’t had the time,” she answered.

She suspects instead her time will be spent writing about her latest favorite topic — sharks.

“I am really into sharks and writing about sharks. During February vacation, I am going to Nantucket (to visit family) and see sharks at the Boston Aquarium,” she said, adding that will give her plenty of fodder for some nonfiction writing.

Her mom said Carly has checked out every book about sharks in the entire school library. The girl gently corrects her mom’s exaggeration, saying there are still a few shark titles she hasn’t brought home to read.

Her other favorite reads include “Piggy Pie,” which is a humorous story, the magazines National Geographic and Cat Fancy, and of course, books about sharks.

In addition to writing — an activity she said other kids in her class don’t seem to like as much as she does, Carly enjoys outdoor recreation and exercise.

During the summer, she likes to play tennis. In the winter months, nothing beats ice fishing.

“I go ice fishing with my dad a lot. I caught ten fish on Sunday. We keep tally marks on the fish shack. We write on the wall with a Sharpie®. My dad has a heater in the shack. We have a couch to sit on with food under it,” Carly said.

The family found out that Carly’s story had been chosen for “Green Screen Adventures” in December; and “Hare’s Apology” was supposed to air that month. However, a change in the network’s programming re-slotted “Green Screen Adventures.”

“Hare’s Apology,” a cute continuation of the tale of two competitors — the tortoise and the hare, will actually air for the first time on Me-TV this Sunday at 8:30 p.m.

So, Carly and her mother have been bubbling with excitement all week.

The seven-year-old Naples resident is a little shy about all the hoop-la and attention focused on her. But, she had a tingly, thrilled feeling in her stomach when she first heard the good news.

According to a press release, “Green Screen Adventures” strives to promote literacy.

“Since its premiere in March 2007, works from over 2,000 students in more than 350 episodes have been featured. Students get the message that their words have power and that their voices are being heard,” the press release said.

An idea and the right words to convey it, actors to play the parts, and a video camera: It all cumulates when it appears on TV.

Carly Dyer has no plans to stop writing now. There are plenty of school assignments in her future, and a pod — or a shiver — of shark stories to tell.

Written by Carly Dyer, 7, of Naples, the play “Hare’s Apology” will air Sunday, (Feb. 10) at 8:30 p.m. on Me-TV, which can be seen on WPXT, Channel 51.2. It can also be viewed via the website Also, the educational program has a Facebook page


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