“Where is my book?! I ordered it over a week ago!”
Summer is upon us and most schools are now on vacation. For our company, this is the busy season as we check every entry before creating the layout of the books. We often receive calls asking why a book was not received since it was “ordered over a week ago”. The process of creating a professionally bound hard-back book is not as easy going to a copy center and pressing print. As a publisher, we work on making sure every student that gives permission is included in the book. We check every name to make sure they are spelled correctly. It is amazing how many parents and students give permission and their student’s name is spelled differently on the proofsheet and was not corrected. This occurs after the deadline as we have to wait for the mail to receive all permission forms. We then we work on the layout in creating the books. The books are then sent to a printer and binder to be put together. This last step takes almost a month to complete. The books are then sent media mail in order to have the lowest shipping for our customers.
While students are enjoying their vacation and teachers are getting their classrooms ready for next year, we are working to create books that you can be proud to share with family and friends. Thank you participating in our program and have a great summer.
As the art judging is finished I always feel a bit guilty when I come across a school with an extremely high acceptance rate. But sometimes a teacher is just great and his or her students create wonderful work.
There are a few schools that I look forward to judging. Palmer Catholic Academy in Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida is one of those schools who I find it a joy to see the students’ art. Katie Corrigan has created a program there where her students create wonderful images. Her elementary school watercolors are above grade level and just plain fun.
She sent an email this week with the following pictures and message:
I can’t tell you how happy I am to see how many of our students “made the cut”! I’ve opted to wait for the postcards before sharing the news so they have something in hand to take home but it is a hard secret to keep. I couldn’t remember if I sent the attached photos to you upon receipt of last year’s good news and book arrival so I am attaching them now. I thought you might like to see some of the proud second grade artists with the book opened to their paintings. As the cards arrived shortly before the last day of school I had given letters to the students and used the cards to decorate our lobby bulletin board. The students took them home on the last day but had a chance to shine being recognized there first.
Thank you again for your wonderful book! We are thrilled to be a part of it.
Palmer Catholic Academy
Thank you Katie. In judging high schools that do work at a level much lower than your 4th graders, you are making a difference and changing lives. We are glad to be here as a way to give your art an audience. Hopefully being published provides an extra spark as we work together to create live long artists.
Tom Worthen, Ph.D.
I often have parents ask what it means to be published in one of our books. For our students, it means that their work was better than most of their peers. However, from that top tier, we always have a few student poets and artists who move on to the next level. We give them a start when they are in school, and then they take that beginning and make their own dreams come true and become a professional poet or artist.
Jasmine Kang is one such student. Now a graduate from San Jose University, we published her before she went to college. Moving beyond our publication, she kept writing and published a book of poems, River of Light. This anthology of her poems received Honorable Mention at the Paris Book Festival and was a USA Book News “Best Books 2010” award finalist. Jasmine stated in an email, “Writing and art are some things I really feel for. It’s not about selling and making money, but about the passion, about sharing and spreading inspiration.”
For each book that we create, there are a few sparks that ignite into a passion for writing. We never know who these life long writers or artists will be. As you look at each student in your classes, you always have to remember that every famous writer or artist started somewhere. We love it when teachers have their students participate. We know that among the thousands of students we work with each year, a few will move on to the next level. As teachers, we never know who that one student will be. They might just be a student in your classroom this year, but by having them compete in our contests, you are giving them a chance at receiving recognition. For one teacher, years ago, Jasmine may have just been a student who entered a contest. Today, she is a writer with her own anthology and several awards. Every famous writer started somewhere. For Jasmine, we were a part of her beginning. Thank you Jasmine.