NCCU junior who turned to writing after football injury donates copies of children's book to schools that inspired him

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021
NCCU junior writes children's book, donates copies to Durham elementary schools
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NCCU junior writes children's book, donates copies to Durham elementary schools

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- "Fried Chicken and Yams" is a children's book with an eye catching, brightly colored cover.

The slim volume, written for second and third graders, has a compelling story that's not written on its pages. That one is about the author: Tyler Fisher.

Fisher is a junior at North Carolina Central University, a self described former athlete who ran track and played football until that option ended abruptly.

"It's about how I overcame adversity. Coming through poverty, and my football season," said Fisher. "That's how I came to find my worth, after I got injured in football."

The Charlotte native said he fell in love with writing after he got hurt. He's a communications major at NCCU, and while volunteering at nearby C.C. Spaulding Elementary during his freshman and sophomore years, decided to write books that could help children widen their horizons.

"I remember him coming here as an intern, working with some of the students," said school counselor Sharon Torian. "And to see him grow is amazing! It's gonna be a great example for our students because I always tell them where you are is not where you're always gonna be."

Torian and school principal Jamie Carr welcomed Fisher back as he arrived Tuesday bearing gifts. He delivered hundreds of copies of his book to C.C. Spaulding and Fayetteville Street Elementary.

Fisher said the book shared with the schools is actually the second one he's written, and he's working on a third now. He decided to use some of his scholarship money to finance the development and printing of the books he donated.

He also got an international assist online while searching for an illustrator: "She's from Russia. I got in contact with her through an app called Fiber, and we connected. I really love the work that she did."

"I'm also very proud of him," said Jamie Carr. "I want to see my students take the same track!"

Fisher's not done. He has plans for communication beyond the printed page.

"Keep writing, keep inspiring my community," Fisher said. "Hopefully get my books on screen so I can impact not only through literature, but on screen as well."

The next chapter of his story happens one week after his delivery of those books. He's accepted an invitation to return virtually to C.C. Spaulding and read his book to the students.