Guest blog by Florencia Park and Dayna Sipila

“Diversity is okay and loving the same sex is okay,” Elora Estes, a student from Yorba Academy of the Arts Middle School’s Journalism class, conclusively read at the second Yorba-Chapman Writing Publishing Party.

Estes is one of a handful of  Yorba students who voluntarily read their work on March 30 at the second Yorba-Chapman Writing Publishing Party at Chapman University’s LaunchLabs. On this day both Chapman and Yorba students as well as the College of Educational Studies staff, donors, and family members of Yorba students celebrated the accomplishments of  both the works of Yorba students and Chapman students. Over the course of a month and a half, Dr. Noah Asher Golden’s Integrated Educational Studies 412: Teaching and Writing in K-12 class for its assigned field work collaborated with local Yorba Academy of the Arts Middle School’s Journalism class.

Chapman students helped Yorba students through the teaching of genres, choosing topics, revising, editing, and public speaking. As a result of this collaboration, 37 Yorba Middle School students published their articles on this year’s theme: local, national, and global issues. Articles ranged from a variety of topics which included “Muslim Ban: Aren’t we a Free Country?”, “ Women’s March in L.A.”, and “Video Games can help you, not hurt you”. Five Yorba students also published their artworks as covers and section dividers.  Additionally, 21 Chapman students were also able to publish their works in the anthology.

Junior Madi Spiegel who participated in this project supports the publishing party: “I think the publishing party was an amazing opportunity for the Chapman and Yorba students because we were all able to get together and celebrate our hard work. This made the project bigger than just turning in a final draft to their teacher, Mrs. Lopez. It really kept students motivated to do the best that they could on their own articles so that they could read it in front of an audience here, at Chapman University. The publishing party brought everyone together to celebrate and learn more about each other. I was able to meet some of the parents and they were so happy to be at Chapman University and to celebrate with all of us.”

Dr. Noah Asher Golden believes this partnership benefits both communities. “I think it is a symbiotic relationship that benefits the local community and benefits our future educators who in turn will  go out and benefit the local community when all of [the Chapman students] become teachers” Golden said. Golden hopes to continue this partnership and believes that every year the project will grow and become more powerful.