Palm Beach County School District Launches Short Stories and Poems
Celebrating its 15th year of fostering creativity and providing opportunities for young writers to showcase their talents in a published book, Canon Solutions America, Inc. joined the School District of Palm Beach County in the release of “Turn the Page,” a collection of short stories and poems inspired by students’ experiences overcoming adversity during a tumultuous time.
This collection was officially unveiled in December during a virtual event. The writers were joined by their families, friends, faculty, additional key supporters, and special guests, including Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer. Select students read passages from the book aloud, demonstrating the impact of the Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project and its ability to encourage students to display creativity and draw from their experiences.
This annual workshop originated in Palm Beach County, Florida, in 2006 and has since afforded more than 500 students with a platform to enhance their writing and editing skills, as well as provide a sense of accomplishment in showcasing their work in a published book – printed on a Canon production press. The project also provides an insider’s look into the process of writing, from idea conception, drafting, and editing through to publication. The Future Authors Project also offers students the opportunity to hold in their hands a copy of the published book, printed by Copy General – a Canon Solutions America customer.
“The theme and title of this year’s Future Authors book, ‘Turn the Page,’ exemplified the emotional turning of a page that for most was a uniquely troublesome year, a year where students were deprived of human connection and were left to rely on their own will to stay inspired and motivated,” says Takara Fields, Secondary Literacy Specialist with the Palm Beach County School District. “Being able to write together again felt like a celebration of the students’ perseverance and showcased the determination and strength of each of our students. I am so incredibly proud of them and am honored to have been a part of this tremendous program.”
For many students, the Future Authors Project provided a way to break out of their isolation while also sparking a greater feeling of accomplishment in seeing their work published for the first time.
“I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very early age, I think around the age of six. It was the Harry Potter series that sparked my love for reading, and it quickly became a dream of mine to one day write a book of my own,” states a 2021 program student participant. “Reading books throughout the pandemic really saved me and continued to provide an outlet for me to get out of my own head and into a world where there was no isolation, no lack of connection, and truly no limitations to what a person can do.”
Another 2021 participant says, “Seeing my writing published in ‘Turn the Page’ was a feeling I can’t describe, I just kept staring at my name printed on the page and had a smile on from ear to ear. It really feels like I am officially a writer, and it’s the best feeling in the world.”
The Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project was extended several years ago to Jericho High School in Jericho, NY. This district recently celebrated its fourth installment of the program with a book launch. Similar to Palm Beach’s overarching theme, the title of the Jericho contingent’s book, “Emergence,” was inspired by the emergence from a uniquely challenging year; writing together served as a celebration of the school’s perseverance and how Jericho students and teachers always strive for their personal best.
“This year provided a number of challenges for us, but thanks to the ongoing support of Canon Solutions America and their commitment to providing this opportunity to our district and its students, we were able to complete yet another successful book. When we first decided to partner with Canon Solutions America, we were so excited at the possibilities that the Future Authors Project would offer our students, but the depth and impact this program has had, especially amidst such an unpredictable year, has been invaluable. We are thrilled to have been able to deliver that opportunity once again to our students,” says Tara Smith, Secondary Literacy Program Planner with the Palm Beach County School District. “Print has a unique way of permeating one’s thoughts and provoking emotions unlike any other form of media. The printed book segment is a vibrant and evergreen segment in the printing industry and the Canon Solutions America Future Authors Project is a shining example of this,” says Francis McMahon, executive vice president, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America. “It is our passion at Canon Solutions America to support young authors and writers and provide opportunities that seed professional and personal growth, as it is those students who are the future of the book industry.”