International High School student-editors speak with Nyuol Tong about inclusion and exclusion
February 28 was an exciting night for the student editorial board of the YABP with San Francisco International High School. To kick off the two-hour class, the students met and discussed the cover design for their book with 826 Valencia Design Director Maria Montes and Jody Worthington, an independent San Francisco designer who has worked on the last three Young Authors’ Book Project publications.
After brainstorming potential book titles, the students Skyped with Nyuol Tong, the writer and activist who would write the foreword to this year’s book. The students, who hail from all around the world—from China to El Salvador—spoke eloquently to Nyuol about their experiences with the themes of the book: communication, isolation, assimilation, and identity. A refugee from South Sudan, Nyuol identified with the challenges that the students faced as newcomers to the United States and commended them for their courage both as people and as writers.
Since the beginning of February, the student editorial has been meeting twice a week at 826 Valencia to read and edit the work of their classmates with the support of volunteer editors and writers. The editorial board is composed of eleventh graders in Ms. Rachel’s class, most of whom have been in the United States two years or fewer. Now they are doing the work of putting together a book of personal essays—everything from changing punctuation marks to brainstorming the title and structure of the book—with the support of their volunteer editors.
We’re so excited to share their book with you in May, when it is officially released!
The Young Authors Book Project is 826 Valencia’s largest annual publishing project.