It’s that time of year again. As our programs wrap up we’re busy delivering student-authored books to our classes, attending publishing parties and watching students open the books to the contents page to find their names among the list of authors. It’s time to celebrate our young authors.
As we add another student book to our Gallery, it’s easy to see how our Young Authors Initiative has become a hallmark of our programs. When students see their own work in a professionally published book, they experience the connection between perseverance and achievement. They see that their voices are valued. They see themselves as writers.
We see them emerge with a sense of self-efficacy and the confidence to take on new challenges.
The Young Authors Initiative takes students through all the steps of creating and publishing their own work. It begins and ends with a book, and the results are worth celebrating!
Planting a Seed
At the beginning of each program we give every student a copy of the author’s book to keep. The gift of a new book helps students foster a sense of ownership of the program and pride in “their” author.
Meeting the Author
Our authors come into the classroom several times during the semester. They are committed participants in our programs: they give students writing prompts, critique their work and reinforce the importance of editing. They also share their own writing challenges and insights, helping our students see what being an author is really like.
Benefiting from a Team
Just like any published author who works with an editor we give our students volunteer editors to help them work their first drafts into polished, final products. Our volunteers work with students individually or in small groups, coaching them through the writing, editing and art process. The personalized attention from people outside their school community encourages students to take risks – to share their stories and flourish as writers.
Art is a powerful medium to inspire young readers and writers. Our teaching artists design their workshops specifically for each class to enhance the connections students are making to what they’re reading and writing.
Whether we take students on a walk through their community to make observations or to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, our field trips allow students to experience new things and new places through a writer’s eye.
Our team of book designers works behind the scenes to create polished, professional layouts to best showcase student work. The result is an authentic production, faithful to what the students created, which allows them to see themselves as professional writers, too.
In just a few months, every one of our students has something to celebrate: a published piece, experience with revision, writing that tells a full story, new words to express themselves and/or a new-found interest in reading.
Throughout the program our classroom teachers, volunteers, program coordinators, teaching artists and authors have supported and challenged students in a positive, encouraging environment.
At the end of each program we celebrate that success and remind our students that anything’s possible. And we hope they carry that sense of achievement to their next project and beyond.
Help us grow our community of student authors!
Give today so that more NYC public school students have the opportunity to work with accomplished authors to create their own original books.