About 4 years ago, the parents and teachers at Tropical Elementary School established the Tropical Elementary Publishing Center in order to assist student and faculty with their writing endeavors. The Center is funded through the School Improvement Committee, the Tropical Library Fund and individual donations of the parents. The volunteers are parents of the students at Tropical Elementary School. The Center is used by approximately 1,000 students at Tropical Elementary and is responsible for publishing about 1,500 books annually.
The Centers focus is on education. The parents have developed a center in a portable classroom with computers that have been donated and fixed up. Teachers are able to call in and set up appointments for their students who have written stories. The child is sent to the center and receives one on one attention from a parent volunteer at the center. Together, the child and parent type the story, make any needed changes, print the story, bind it into a book, and make a creative cover that the child designs from clip art.
The service is invaluable. The Center provides activities to help the students express themselves in a meaningful way. The administration has noticed an increase in the scores of the children's reading and writing, but more importantly they have noticed a desire within each child to improve. The students want to write and to publish their materials.
Teachers are also able to receive services from the Publishing Center. The parent volunteers make class sets of books, laminate teaching materials, and provide materials for the Young Author's Conference which is held annually at Tropical Elementary.
The Publishing Center motivates each child to read, write, and use his or her imagination. Through the Center, the child's self-esteem improves, as the child sees the results of his or her work.