Learning about a unique project done by a colleague from another community college inspired Eve Markman, Director of Creative Services at Community College of Philadelphia. Staff at the colleague’s college had produced a children’s book, doing good for the community. When Markman learned that CCP had “adopted” a nearby public elementary school, she saw the right possibility for acting on her inspiration.
Markman’s story caught my eye https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ccp-launches-childrens-book-eve-markman/, and I contacted her to learn more about how it all came to be.
Pitching an idea to one’s new superior can be an anxiety-producing task, but VP Judy Gay told Markman, “I am so invigorated and inspired when somebody comes to me with a great new idea!” Excited by such a green light, Markman approached her staff to seek volunteers for the project. The team, composed of members of the union and administrators, would create the story and design the book.
They came up with the idea of a book for Kindergarteners through third graders that would introduce the idea of career as a choice in life. Markman knew that many disadvantaged kids grow up with limited ideas of careers to which they might aspire.
Playing with the College’s slogan, “The Path to Possibilities,” they named their animal characters Poss and Ible, and the story follows them as they encounter and learn from workers in various career fields.
When Oh Dear, What’s a Career? was published, College workers, including the team that created the book, spent a day at Spring Garden Elementary School. Involvement from CCP went right to the top, with President Donald Generals reading to a class of engaged children. Local television station ABC-10 did a feature on the occasion. https://mms.tveyes.com/Transcript.asp?StationID=1074&DateTime=11%2F15%2F2018+4%3A43%3A59+PM&Term=Community+College+of+Philadelphia&PlayClip=TRUE&fbclid=IwAR0nuCaeskSY_8Qp0in2x_wexfmhoUULTNtt5UBDPssCnmVIOGaBEvhPT-M
I love this story for so many reasons. It involved collaboration between very different kinds of schools and between various kinds of college employees. It became a Win-Win experience for so many people. And it demonstrates the power of turning points.
One good thing can lead to another and another—if we pay attention. In OPEN ADMISSIONS, I wrote about helping students find those turning points in their lives. They exist for learners whether or not they’re students.
For Eve Markman, finding out about a colleague’s project proved to be a turning point. Garnering the enthusiastic support of her new Vice President then fueled her efforts. In turn, she set her staff loose on a very different project that tapped their creativity and provided them with an unusual connection with young children. They became “authors.” Now, children who will never meet those book creators or Eve Markman may find themselves at their own turning point. It all started with an insightful moment for Eve Markman. That’s worth celebrating.