St. Joseph students showcase books, art work (w/video)
Feb. 10, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Updated Feb. 9, 2014 at 8:10 p.m.
Paintings and books covered tables and shelf tops at the St. Joseph High School library Monday night.
Matt Vela wore a gray hood as he watched parents pore over the student art pieces at the 22nd annual St. Joseph Authors' Party and Art Show Extravaganza.
"I've been kind of nervous about what people might think about my work," Matt, 16, said. "But you just have to put confidence in your work and know that people aren't here to judge."
The St. Joseph junior wrote and published his own hardcover book, "I am a Dreamer," about the importance of self-discovery during a person's adolescent years.
"I really wanted to write a meaningful book," Matt said. "Not just whatever because I had to turn something in."
Matt was assigned the author project through Nancy Peters' journalism class, which has upheld the self-publishing tradition since 1989. Twenty-two books were published.
The show also featured paintings by 34 students from art teacher Ted Wise's class.
"This project makes them look at their writing in a totally different way," said Peters, who has taught at St. Joseph for the last 32 years. "It's going to be something permanent, and oftentimes, it helps them think about what family really means to them."
The students were asked to write about something that they would keep or give to someone as a gift, Peters said.
Madeline Schaar has loved horses her whole life.
In her book, "The General," Madeline, 16, details the strenuous process she went through while breaking in her horse.
"We've kind of grown up together," Madeline said. "Over the years, I've learned a lot about training horses."
Madeline said she has more than 3,000 photos of her horse on her phone.
Some of the photos were printed with her story.
In Matt's book, a photo of him when he was about 2 years old was printed on one of his chapter introductions.
In his photo, Matt is holding a Winnie the Pooh toy doll.
"Using those photos brought out a nostalgic feeling in the book," Matt said. "I wanted to use it so people could get a feeling of who I am."