Cheering for kindness

By Sarah Slayman
Staff Writer

Messenger photo by Sarah Slayman
Evie Carey of Grove City has published her first book “Claire Cheers” at 6 years old. The book has an encouraging message that Carey gained through competing in cheerleading and pageants.

Evie Carey of Grove City uses her experience in cheerleading and competing in pageants to author a book on teamwork and kindness. The 6-year-old uses this message to inspire her peers and stand for something more than herself.

Evie began cheering when she was 3 years old and has since grown to compete as a flier for a nationally competing team. Her experience with her teammates has grown an appreciation in her for respect within competition. In her other world of pageantry, this was a perfect storm for Evie to create her C.H.E.E.R. platform, standing for ‘Choosing to Happily Encourage Everyone Respectfully.’

Out of this sprung the idea of authoring a book with this message.

Evie would often come home from school with makeshift books she created out of notebook paper, and told her mom, Chelsea Carey, of how she dreamed to see something she wrote on the shelf of a library. Chelsea knew it was possible. So, in August of last year, Evie was provided the tools to bring a story to life. She wrote about a cheerleader named Clair who embodies her platform’s message of encouragement and respect and entitled it “Clair Cheers.”

Chelsea had friends in the publishing world who guided her on how to make Evie’s creation tangible. She wanted to ensure the book truly stayed authentic to her daughter and her creative direction.

“She was given the tools, but she created this book,” Chelsea said.

For example, they selected a handful of illustrators, and Evie got to select which style of characters felt most true to her story. Chelsea’s favorite part of the process was Evie’s determination to make all of her characters look different, just as her own teammates do.

Once the book was complete, the 6-year-old began to proudly pass them out to anyone who would take one.

This led to the creation of her C.H.E.E.R. Charm initiative; a buildable charm bracelet with an element of her message included. The hope is for it to be a fun way to include her peers in on the effort of helping everyone treat each other with kindness and respect, particularly in competitive settings.

Chelsea said that she has seen Evie live this out in real ways many times.

“Evie noticed that one of her pageant competitors was really struggling with nerves at a rehearsal, so she proceeded to stand by her side for the remainder of the night, holding her hand for support,” said Chelsea.

According to Chelsea, her daughter also cheers for the girls who rank higher than her in these competitions, exemplifying what she stands for.

Evie had the opportunity to compete in USA National Miss Ohio as Miss Grove City Princess this past fall, and won the state title as the youngest in the age group. This means that she now has been given the opportunity to compete in USA National Miss this summer as Ohio’s representative. Doing well comes with the potential of scholarships and many more opportunities to continue encouraging her peers.

Evie’s book “Clair Cheers” is available on Amazon. All of the proceeds will go toward her CHEER Charm initiative.

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