The Future Authors Project, first launched at Jericho School District in 2017, is an annual project that provides accomplished high school students an insider's look into the process of writing, from idea conception, drafting, and editing through to publication. The Future Authors Project also offered students the opportunity to sign copies of the digitally published books, printed by Suffolk Printing, for attendees at the official book launch on Nov. 18 at Jericho High School.
This year's theme and title of the 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. The 2021 summer workshop was the school's first all in-person activity in over a year. Emerging from the darkness and isolation of the early days of the pandemic, this year's creative pieces reflect the joy, connection, reflection, and camaraderie that the students experienced in large part simply because they could be together. The 2021 summer workshop was our first all in-person activity in over a year. We had emerged from the darkness and isolation, and were for the most part intact. Our writing reflects the joy, connection, reflection, and camaraderie we experienced in large part simply because we could be together. It was what we needed, this being together.
"The texts and images included in Emergence are a collection of personal reflections following the troublesome year a lot of our students and staff experienced and how they were able to overcome such adversity. Many of the shared challenges and hardships faced while in quarantine allowed for a significant amount of self-reflection, especially considering the amount of time spent at home. I am so proud of each and every one of our students for sharing a glimpse of their experiences and creative minds with us as their rawness and vulnerability resulted in a tremendous collection of stories for this book," says Dr. Daniel Salzman, curriculum associate for English language arts, Jericho School District.
As part of the project, students used Canon imaging equipment during the creative process to capture vivid photographs to accompany their written work. This year, due to the limitations of the pandemic, Canon experts hosted a virtual photography class to help educate and prepare the students for the photography portion of the program, utilizing the power of the Canon EOS Webcam Utility software. Student submissions were then collected and digitally printed and bound into a book using Canon printing technology. Subsequently, each student received a "published author" credit.
"This year provided a number of challenges for us, but thanks to Canon Solutions America and their ongoing support of our school and its students, we were able to complete yet another successful book. When we first partnered with Canon Solutions America on the Future Authors Project, our goal was to provide an outlet for our students to foster their creative capacities, and even in such an unpredictable year we were able to deliver that opportunity once again to our students," says Suzanne Valenza, English language arts teacher, Jericho High School.
For a number of students, this was the first time ever seeing their work be published in a printed book, sparking strong feelings of accomplishment. Brian Reich, Jericho High School Senior, explained this was one of the proudest moments of his career as a young writer.
"The piece I wrote was inspired by the feeling and experiences that occurred over the course of the last year or so in quarantine, and writing this piece was truly a passion project of mine. Seeing my writing published in Emergence was incredible, 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," says Reich.
Canon Solutions America President Peter P. Kowalczuk attended the event and spoke to Jericho students about the importance of leveraging one's creativity and striving toward personal and professional growth.
"We are passionate about providing opportunities for students to unleash their creativity and open up the vast world of publishing to students in our communities through our Future Authors Project, and we are thrilled to celebrate another successful book launch with Jericho High School. This program is a compelling example of the unbelievable impact digital book printing has had on the industry," says Kowalczuk. "I'd like to extend a special thank you to the team at Suffolk Printing for the opportunity to help us showcase the technology and printing capabilities of the imagePRESS C10000VP in this production. Canon Solutions America is proud, beyond words, of each student who successfully participated in this program and displayed their passion for writing and creativity."