Insight News

Feb 13th

Write On: Minneapolis Urban League Academy students learn about publishing career pathways

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newkahomeCelebrating the power of words and the art of writing, Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) Academy School students will be afforded the opportunity to express their personal viewpoints, learn about publishing career pathways, produce their own book, and be taught first hand that English class and communication skills do matter and can serve them well for a lifetime.

Serving students in grades 6-12, the MUL Academy School located at 2201 Blaisdell Avenue South is a learning community that offers academics classes for high school graduation, STEM project based learning, career development experiences coupled with hands on social enterprise activities.

Last week, MUL collaborated with noted author Kwame Alexander to bring his Book-in-a Day (BID) program to the school.

Book-in-a-Day (BID) is a groundbreaking writing and publishing program that focuses on student-run publication—in one day. Educators spend hours looking for exciting ways to bring literature to life. The solution is Book-in-a-Day, a new fun-filled, hands-on literacy project that teaches students the fundamentals of creative writing and book publishing. Through the Book-in-a-Day intensive writing and publishing workshop students not only become authors, but they take on the responsibility of publishing their book. Three-to-four weeks after the workshop, copies of the student book are delivered and a launch is held to showcase the book.

Kwame Alexander, Founder and Creator of BID, is the author of fourteen books including the children's books Indigo Blume and the Garden City and Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, both of which received NAACP Image Award Nominations for Outstanding Children's Literature. His first YA Novel comes out in 2013 from HarperCollins, and his debut middle reader novel will be published by Houghton Mifflin in 2014. Kwame's Book-in-a-Day writing & publishing program has created more than 2500 student authors in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. He has led delegations of writers to Brazil, Tuscany, and Ghana.

According to Publisher's Weekly, Midwest Book Review, and the National Association of Women in Publishing, Alexander is a pivotal figure in contemporary American literature and publishing. As a literary expert and commentator, he has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs including NPR's Tell Me More, Tavis Smiley, BET's Teen Summit, News Channel 8's Entertainment Forecast, and several NBC and Fox affiliates. He has also been featured in Publisher's Weekly, the Washington Post, Poets and Writers Magazine, Detroit Metro-Times, Washington Times, Sacramento Observer, Baltimore Sun, Vibe Magazine, Source Magazine, and The Virginia Pilot-Ledger Star.

The Kwame Alexander Papers, a collection of his professional and personal documents, is held at George Washington University's Gelman Library. Recently, Kwame served on the advisory board for Nikki Giovanni's The 100 Best African American Poems (Sourcebooks, 2010). Most recently, he co-founded the L.E.AP. for Ghana initiative, which provides literacy, school improvement, and girls' empowerment programming in the community of Konko Village, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, West Africa. Visit him at

MUL Academy School Director, Ron Simmons commented, "We are exacted to have Mr. Kwame Alexander working with our middle and high school students through his Book in a Day Program. The staff and students are looking forward to the experiences of writing, editing, and publishing their own book. This experience offers our student learners the opportunity to mesh the academics of their English class with creative writing and critical thinking. Our entire learning community is looking forward to the book that will result from their efforts."

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