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Norwalk Housing Authority Students Publish Book With Silvermine Arts Center

Author and poet Page McBrier brainstorming with students from the Norwalk Housing Authority
Author and poet Page McBrier brainstorming with students from the Norwalk Housing Authority Photo Credit: Contributed
One of the student photographs of an animal at the Stamford Nature Center
One of the student photographs of an animal at the Stamford Nature Center Photo Credit: Contributed
One of the student photographs of an animal at the Stamford Nature Center
One of the student photographs of an animal at the Stamford Nature Center Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. — A group of Norwalk students are celebrating the publication of a book they wrote this year through the Norwalk Housing Authority and the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan.

Students in Norwalk Housing Authority's after-school 6th to 8th grade program completed the project through Silvermine's Art Partners Outreach Education Program. The book, titled "Just Between Friends," includes photography and poetry focusing on animals, which was this year's subject matter.

NHA's Creative Coordinator Danielle Vinci took the students to the Stamford Nature Center to study and photograph the animals in their natural environments. Once their photographs were finished, the students met with author and poet Page McBrier and created poetry to accompany their images. "Just Between Friends" is the finished product of this exploration and adventure.

McBrier is the author of 44 books for young adults, including the award-winning New York Times bestseller, "Beatrice's Goat." She has also been designated as a Teaching Artist by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.

The students will celebrate the publication of "Just Between Friends" at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Norwalk Public Library. They will sign copies of the book, and a limited number will be available for purchase. A copy will remain in the library's permanent collection, and an additional copy will be at the mayor's office in Norwalk City Hall.

The book signing will be followed by a weeklong exhibition of their work at Silvermine's Student Gallery, opening on Tuesday, Jan. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. The project includes both visual and writing components and has been sponsored for the fourth year by Bankwell.

"This was a unique project that enabled the students to learn photography and editing skills on the visual side and then discover their creative writing talents by composing the accompanying poems," said Sophia Gevas, director of Silvermine's Outreach Education Program. "At the same time, they gained skills in creative thinking, problem solving and working together to produce something they will remember forever and be able to revisit in the library."

The public is invited to attend both the book signing ceremony on Dec. 7 and the opening of the art exhibit at Silvermine on Jan. 9.

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