Middle Schoolers Write, Illustrate And Publish Their Own Book

Thirteen area middle school students are now published authors and illustrators after completing a project recently offered through the Center for Creative Education (CCE), a local nonprofit which focuses on arts integration programming.

The “Pupils, Poetry and Pictures: Bob Forbes Mentorship at CCE” exhibition opened at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in early June.

The exhibition showcased a 10-week afterschool program of student work mentored by renowned children’s book author Robert L. Forbes and CCE teaching artist Craig McInnis. The project was an initiative of CCE, which is based in West Palm Beach’s Northwood Village.

The structured workshops perfected the illustration and writing skills of a select group of local students from the Rosarian Academy, the Bak Middle School of the Arts and Crestwood Middle School.

The middle-schoolers created a diverse and extraordinary collection of 17 poems and corresponding illustrations, which are currently on display at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in Lake Worth.

The student’s works were published and printed in a book called The Wonderful, Whimsical, Wild World of Poems.

“The magical thing about this experience was that it allowed the students to see the development of publishing a picture book from start to finish, from imagination to publication,” Forbes said. “They wrote and edited their poems and learned the skill of critiquing each others’ works. The group also learned how to handle the specific needs and styles of illustration. As well, they chose the sequencing of the pieces, the book’s title, and worked with CCE staffers to do color enhancement and layout design. The final step was fulfilled with a gratifying and well-attended book signing.”

ABOVE: Participants Sakaria Haliburton of the Bak Middle School of the Arts and Kristen Thies of Crestwood Middle School sign books.