Canon Solutions America Inc., Production Print Systems

Students are Inspired to be Writers at Summer Workshop for Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project

Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., recently completed its eighth annual Future Authors Project writing workshop with more than 50 middle and high school students from throughout Palm Beach County, Florida participating. Writings from the students will be compiled into a book they dubbed Pure Gold Written in Graphite. Printed using Canon Solutions America’s digital print technology, the book will be unveiled at an official book signing this fall.

Modeline Celestin, who will be a junior at Glades Central High School, said the workshop experience gave her an opportunity to share her passion for writing with like-minded students and express herself creatively. “I very much enjoyed the interaction with others and learning how to receive critique,” she said. “I learned that it’s ok to share your story. I don’t socialize much, so writing gives me a chance to express myself easily.”

The workshop, she added, allowed her to work one-on-one with language arts teachers and former Future Author participants, a treat not available in a regular school classroom. Modeline said her favorite part of the workshop was “getting our own special time with teachers and the chance to write creatively and express ourselves.” Her only complaint was that the eight-day workshop was too short.

Gary Merisme, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida and will attend Atlantic High School next year as a 9th grader, also wishes the workshop lasted a few more days. Encouraged to attend the workshop by his 8th grade language arts teacher, he enjoyed the chance to practice his poetry and learn about publishing. “I learned that it’s important to write about what you know, not to please everyone else,” he said. He plans to return to the program next year as a mentor.

Becoming a screen writer and author is Julian Pollifrone’s ultimate dream. The rising sophomore at South Tech Academy in Boynton Beach, Florida is looking forward to applying what he learned during the Future Authors workshop to his classes in the Film Production Academy at the high school. “I learned a lot of useful writing tips,” said the future author who found a love of writing as an elementary school student. “The more drafts I had to write, the more I felt I progressed as a writer.” His poem, Wounded Compass, which is about rejection and how it helps a person grow, will appear in Pure Gold Written in Graphite.

These and the other students spent eight days of their summer vacation preparing pieces for the book, which will be unveiled at an official book signing on November 1, 2013 at the City of Boca Raton Spanish River Library.

Nearly 400 students have benefited from this unique private-public partnership between Canon Solutions America and the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida. The program was created to help students learn about the processes of writing, editing, and digitally publishing books. The writing workshop was held at both Don Estridge Middle School in Boca Raton and Glades Central High School, where students participated via distant learning technology. Published authors who donated their time to share experiences and writing tips included Robert Forbes, a children’s author and publisher of Forbes Lifestyle; Nicole Barker, the author of the young adult novel, Dancing with Ana; and poet Dwight Stewart.

Sponsors, whose support allows three licensed language arts teachers to be hired to teach the workshop, include AutoNation, the Lawrence Sanders Foundation, and Xplor, an educational and networking association serving users and suppliers of document technologies. Nicole Adamo and Katrina Sapp Holder of Don Estridge Middle School and Cartheda Mann of Glades Community Central High School taught the workshop.

For more information about how to support the Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project, contact the Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Mary Kay Murray, at murraymk@palmbeach.k12.fl.us.

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