“I can feel the chill water drip down, beads of fresh anguish, a salty waterfall trickling my chin,” read BAK Middle School eighth grade student, Michael Wang, from his poem “Tears” at the recent seventh annual Océ Future Authors Project book signing at Spanish River Library in Boca Raton.
Michael opened the ceremony to unveil the book, Pens and Paper: Our Weapons of Mass Construction. The book is a compilation of the works by the more than 40 Palm Beach County middle and high school students who participated in the Océ Future Authors Project, a public-private partnership between Océ, a Canon Group Company and an international leader in digital document management, and the School District of Palm Beach County.
More than 100 people attended the book signing, where the students saw their published works for the first time and were able to sign copies for family, friends, school officials and community leaders. Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent of Curriculum and Learning Keith Oswald, was one of the first fans in line. “There’s no limit on what can be accomplished when we work together for the good of our children,” he said. “This project is indeed a model for public-private partnerships. Programs like this offer students an invaluable opportunity to expand their educational experience.”
City of Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Susan Haynie also was on hand to congratulate the students, “Few people ever get to experience the exhilaration of becoming published,” she told the students. “Yet, this morning, all of you who participated in the Future Authors Project will have the chance to autograph your very own published works. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing some of your names on the New York Times Best Seller List some day.”
Francis McMahon, vice president of marketing, Production Printing Systems, a division of Océ North America, said the book signing event was a unique opportunity to witness the students’ passion for writing.
“How exciting it has been to watch nearly 350 Palm Beach County students enjoy the thrill of polishing their writing skills and becoming published authors,” he said. “Being here today to recognize the participants in the seventh annual Océ Future Author's Project is just as exciting as celebrating our first year.”