Miles Elementary Students Learn the Power of Creative Expression to Become Authors, Illustrators and Entrepreneurs

Book Boss Program

The Book Boss Program—a Community Sparkplug Project in partnership with The Rensselaerville Institute—recently empowered 24 third, fourth and fifth graders at Miles Elementary School to find their creative voices by writing and illustrating their own stories.

Each of the budding authors received 10 copies of the books they wrote and participated in a book-signing event held on Tuesday, May 15. More than 30 community members attended the event, where the students collectively sold more than 234 books, earning $2,448 in book sales. The student entrepreneurs plan to use the money from their book sales to pay for college, help their families pay for a move, and support a local homeless shelter.

This program is a powerful example of a community-school partnership.

Jamela Peterson, a community member and founder of Book Boss and the SocialPreneur Lab, strongly believes that with early knowledge of entrepreneurship, students can create economic equality and social impact through business.

Peterson recently teamed up with Khalifa Lee, community leader, resident advocate, and co-founder of the Mays High School Alumni Association, to bring this program to the Southwest Atlanta community. The program offered 12 free workshops and workbooks to guide students through the writing and business development progress. Each workshop engaged students to think critically and write creatively.

“I’m excited to be an entrepreneur because before the program I always wanted to write a book and now this program gives me experience,” said Naija Dubose, a fifth-grade Book Boss participant.

Another young author said the following about her story: “It has a plot twist. It starts out scary and then turns funny. I love plot twists in movies and books, so I wanted to write one of my own.”

The Rensselaerville Institute is working to continue its partnership with Miles Elementary School to empower students with literacy, arts, and entrepreneurship. If you would like to know how to support or get involved with Book Boss or SocialPreneur Lab e-mail

To learn more about the Community Sparkplugs initiative in Atlanta, visit, or email Noni Walker at


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