About the Founder & Author

Elisa Holton Odegard

Elementary School Teacher, Children’s Book Published Author & Handprint On My Heart Founder

Elisa Holton Odegard has been teaching elementary school for twenty-nine years, primarily kindergarten and first grade. She earned a Masters in Education degree, with a reading specialist focus. Her passion is to inspire children to love reading for learning and enjoyment, as well as supporting their social and emotional needs. IMAGINE: An Inspirational Story of Calming Strategies for Children is her first published children’s book, a lifelong dream come true. Handprint On My Heart is her labor of love for all children to have access to their education with the right tools to help themselves regulate their emotions and make their most beneficial choices.

A proud Minnesotan all her life, she lives there with her devoted husband, Lance, and two endearing children, Ashley and Matthew. She is so grateful for God’s many blessings in her life, including her special students. Now she is motivated to help many children with anxiety to find ways to self-regulate and gain confidence through her book, future books, and this non-profit organization’s supportive projects. She also hopes to contribute to the growth of more children’s book character representations from a wide variety of backgrounds and ethnicities, therefore, helping her students and all children to see themselves in the pages of her stories.

Children’s Advocate:
  • 1st Grade Teacher ~ 11 years
  • Kindergarten Teacher ~ 17 years
  • 3rd Grade Teacher ~ 1 year
  • Mother of Two
  • Aunt of 15
  • Special Education Summer Parks Director ~ 1 year
  • Community Summer Park Leader ~ 6 years
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