Each year, 826DC publishes a unique collection of student work as the culmination of our Young Authors Book Project (YABP), a year-long partnership with a class or group of young authors to develop their writing. This year, we plan on publishing three. For the first, we partnered with brilliant fifth graders from Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary School to produce My Heart Went Beating Fast, a collection of realistic fiction short stories. We celebrated the release on Wednesday, June 1 at Bruce Monroe Elementary School Auditorium. The atmosphere was joyful. Students, family, and friends enjoyed an assortment of delicious foods generously catered by Georgetown University.
We want to extend a big ‘Congratulations!’ to the 50 amazing fifth graders who contributed to this project, as well as everyone involved. We’d like to thank the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for their support of this project and our young authors, as well as the other organizations that made this book possible. Another giant thank you goes out to the staff of Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary for working so diligently alongside us to support their students. And of course we can’t forget our amazingly dedicated team of in-class writing mentors, and those who worked with the Spanish-speaking students develop their pieces.
We’d also like to acknowledge our behind-the-scenes collaborators. Oliver Munday is responsible for the stunning book design, Anna Gross put the student’s work on paper as our production assistant, Santiago Casares served as our expert illustrator and Tania James penned the touching forward. Special thanks to the hardworking interns and staff who helped with publication, especially Lacey Dunham for her dedication to the planning and the publishing of this YABP.
The realistic fiction featured in My Heart Went Beating Fast ranges from hilarious to heartbreaking. There are stories written in both Spanish and English that feature everything from learning to cook to becoming president. It is a remarkable collection of works and we are incredibly grateful to all the folks who made it possible!