Members of the fifth grade class at Hillsboro Elementary School can now add “published author” to their resumes—thanks to senior graphics communications students at Monroe Technology Center.
The second-year Monroe students helped show the fifth graders the ins and outs of design and printing during a recent field trip—and presented them with copies of the Hillsboro students’ book, “Ducks Learn About Farming.”
The book was written and illustrated collaboratively by the class at the tiny western Loudoun school with help from their teacher Lisbet Jenkins and guidance counselor Elisabeth Torres.
The Monroe students, who hail from high schools around the county, walked their visitors through the printing process—from working with PhotoShop and InDesign to printing and binding material—by helping the students make personalized notepads. At the end of the day, the fifth graders were presented with copies of their book, which had been pre-printed by the Monroe graphics team.
The Monroe students spend alternate school days at the Leesburg campus, getting hands-on training in graphic design while completing core subjects at their home schools. Their graphic communications instructor, Pam Smith, coordinated the visit with Torres.
The Hillsboro students, most of whom will attend Harmony Middle School next year, were impressed, and several students said they’re already thinking about Monroe as an option when they get to high school.
“It was great using those crazy things like Photoshop and showing us all the stuff. I mean it was pretty cool,” said Hillsboro student Cody Leigh.
And the seniors enjoyed their roles as mentors.
“Seeing the kids getting excited about the notepads and the whole process in general reminded me why I chose design in the first place,” said Maria Hererra, a Graphics Design II student and senior at Loudoun County High School. “They are my motivation to change the world and inspire future generations.”