This summer, Canon Solutions America will bring its esteemed Future Authors Project to Jericho High School. Participating Jericho students and teachers will write literature and poetry to be compiled into a publication celebrating creativity.
The program will run for four days (from June 26 to 29), from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., including a field trip to Canon’s headquarters in Melville. The program will be free-of-charge, but will likely only accept 15 to 20 students, according to English curriculum associate Dr. Salzman.
“We would be the first school in New York State and the second school across the country to conduct this program,” said Salzman. “However, since we can visit the Canon headquarters, the program is not only for writing instruction, but also for students to understand digital publication.”
The Future Authors Project has already generated excitement and intrigue, especially among underclassmen.
“I think the program is exciting because it helps advance the writing skills of both teachers and students while getting feedback from older or younger readers that could help them write their pieces and future writing,” said freshman Larry D. “I think it is really interesting and could help students like me going in that direction,” he added.
Instructor for the program Ms. Valenza is enthusiastic about it, since she will be able to teach what she loves and help students improve upon their writing skills.
“I’m very excited to be able to facilitate the program because I love to teach creative writing,” she said. The collaboration among teachers and students is what drew her to this program. “Just the thought of creating a community of writers, both teachers and students, really excites me. And in the summer, when everyone’s relaxed, all we’re going to do, and want to do, is come together and write,” she added.
Salzman is especially excited about printing the final publication. “Canon partnered with us to offer both the field trip and the experience to watch the creation of that document. Kids gain the sense of becoming published authors, creating a real book available for sale and distribution. They will have a pretty cool artifact—a tangible publication that would be, in a sense, the first of its kind, at least in this state,” he said.
One key shared goal between Salzman and Valenza is to instill a love for writing beyond its usage in standardized testing and other academic requirements. They hope to spark real creativity through the publication.
“My greatest goal is that kids have fun,” said Salzman. “My second goal would be that teachers and students have a more intimate writing experience together. I think that during the year, academics is the goal, and this is more creative—a space where kids can express themselves.”
Salzman emphasizes his hope that this program will be the “first of many years” and that it will continue to grow with ever-increasing interest.
-By Daniel Choe