It takes a village to raise a child and believe me, a child needs the support of a village so they can flourish and thrive.
I started Boogie Books to support my own publishing ambitions. Child Writes, however, is purely to enhance the offering of the village! It grew and developed into a program as we saw, time and time again, the opportunity for children to flourish and thrive!
All children, as they finish this program are published authors. More importantly, all the children have a voice. We know from the work of the national association for prevention of child abuse and neglect, this is fundamental. If we listen to our children, we value our children and we keep them safe! Children simply ask to be safe, safe at home, safe in the playground, safe in the classroom. When they are safe, they can get on with the fundamentals of being a kid and that is playing and learning.
This is what is behind Child Writes, which in turn, happens to be is a literacy program where children are cajoled and scaffolded through the entire process of creating a children’s picture book. From the various tools used to formulate an idea; through all the stages of writing to using professional planning tools for the illustrations, all the way through to a book launch.
The process is not only about reading and writing – it is about increasing their self efficacy, understanding commitment and time and resource allocation, fully appreciating the entire process which is the same for adults, whose books they have been reading for years.
The children participate in over 24 hours of workshop, spend the entire September holiday working on their illustrations and have to battle the tyranny of the ever-looming deadline. Some will have turned over their text more than ten times; others will have drawn and redrawn their characters until they can draw them in their sleep. All of them want to drop out at some point – all of them are intensely proud of what they have achieved.
This program’s output this year is over 1200 printed books that are 48,000 pages of words and images produced by Child Writes authors. With over 850 unique illustrations, thousands of words, another 50 titles to fly with Jetstar, and belonging to the Child Writes graduates as one of the titles on Amazon as Boogie Books is the biggest publisher of children’s books written and illustrated by children in the world…
Yet as fancy as all those numbers are parents and guests…
There is only ONE thing that is important today… Your author!
When you get a chance tonight, tomorrow, in the school holidays, stop for a moment and think what your son or daughter has achieved.
They are a published author, and they aren’t even teenagers yet.
They have demonstrated an ability to stick to task, even if they haven’t hung up that wet towel you asked to deal with an hour ago.
They can focus on one project for an extended length of time; even though they were distracted when you asked them how their day was and they didn’t answer.
They have, incredibly, worked out what they need to prioritise in order to get a huge project completed, whilst you may be rueing that they have forgotten their homework folder.
They have successfully navigated hours in workshop time with me, a complete stranger, even though you may think of them as painfully shy or lacking with regards to their communication skills.
They have listened to the subtleties and melodies of the English language and written a book, yet you may find yourself berating them and wishing they read more, instead of playing computer games!
Your author has learnt an incredible amount. It has been a privilege working with your child.
Now it is time for this very special village to kick up it’s heals and to celebrate.