Jericho students who participated in the Canon Future Authors Project gathered with their family, friends, and teachers for a book signing event before the October board of education meeting. This past summer, Jericho students ranging from freshmen to juniors were granted an opportunity to take part in the Future Authors Project in partnership with Canon Solutions America. During the four days of the program, students participated in workshops to improve their writing and photography skills. Participants also took a field trip to Canon's headquarters in Melville, where they learned how to use the company's cameras and take pictures that would complement their writing. A compilation of their poems, essays, short stories, and photographs was turned into a book entitled Sweet and Savory
Serendipity. The book features short biographies about the contributors in addition to their pieces which all center around the theme of food. Jericho High School English teacher and program facilitator Suzanne Valenza chose this theme because as she said, "Food is something that unifies us all and lends itself to meaningful writing experiences."
Aside from the much-awaited book signing, the students felt as though the writing experience itself was a positive one. In regard to her experience participating in the program, Junior Nolani K.-W. said, "The Future Authors program gave me the chance to share my work with my peers as well as my teachers, who obviously have a lot of experience. Being able to discuss writing and life experiences with each of them in an equal environment allowed me to better critique my own writing and broaden my knowledge about how to be a good writer." She also enjoyed
being able to use the Canon cameras which allowed
her to take "nice, high quality photos" of her
favorite foods and of sights around her neighborhood.
Similarly, Senior Maria G. believed the program was beneficial to her
growth as a writer and photographer. She
said, "As writers, we went through a variety of ways to learn how to start up the ideas in your mind, and that was really helpful in creating pieces on food, since at first I had no idea what to write about. Also, it was really nice working with the teachers and being on the same level as them." Learning about camera settings such as aperture and about all of the different features allowed her to improve her photo-taking abilities as well.
Senior Swati M. said, "My favorite part of the program was working in a small community of both friends and teachers who all wanted to be there, doing something that they love in a relaxed environment. I don't think this is always the case during the school year, so it was a really unique experience that I'm grateful for and hope future students in Jericho can take advantage of."
Curriculum Associate for English Language Arts Dr. Daniel Salzman was extremely satisfied with the program and Jericho's collaboration with Canon USA. "We couldn't be prouder of the hard work and concerted effort put forth into this program," he said. Plans are already in place to continue this program next summer.
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