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Student Authors Express Themselves in 2023 Book

Finding Their Voice: Poetry and Prose in “Yellow All Around Us”

Sarah Potter and Jennifer Leeper holding an enlarged copy of the book cover

916 Ink Program Coordinator Sarah Potter (left) and SCOE Teacher Jennifer Leeper hold an enlarged copy of the book’s cover, signed by student authors.

On May 31, students from Nathaniel S. Colley, Sr. High School celebrated the release of “Yellow All Around Us,” a book featuring their own poetry and prose. The book was published in partnership with 916 Ink, a nonprofit creative writing and literacy organization in Sacramento.

At the release event, held in the school’s multi-purpose room, students took turns signing copies of the book and posters before reading selections of their work aloud.

The student authors are enrolled in the Community School Program at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), which provides an alternative educational option for students from various Sacramento County school districts. Before deciding which of their finished pieces to publish, students worked side-by-side with 916 Ink mentors twice weekly for 16 weeks. The workshops helped students unlock their writing and literacy potential.

“The focus is on student voice,” said Alternative Education Teacher Jennifer Leeper. “It’s an opportunity for students to express who they are, how they feel, and what they think through their words.”

916 Ink has released more than 250 books since 2010, helping more than 5,500 students become published authors. The Sacramento-based nonprofit creative writing and literacy organization is a long-time SCOE partner, encouraging youth to become strong readers and confident communicators.