Crenshaw High School students teamed up with actor and author Hill Harper to sign their copies of their self-published book chronicling their trip to the White House.
The Crenshaw High School Digital Media Team made the LAUSD proud with the printed and digital versions of their first book, Journey to the White House: An Educational Blueprint for Change in Action.
The book chronicles how they sought, and eventually managed to get, an invitation to the White House. Once there, they toured the First Lady's famous vegetable garden, and met with their federal counterpart -- President Barack Obama's digital media team.
"We wanted to become a 21st Century example of what President Barack Obama’s Blueprint for Change in Education looks like inside the inner-city classroom," said Daphne Bradford, the digital team's Apple distinguished teacher.
As the Journey to the White House story spread, students from other high schools began to join the journey with them.
Now that they've seen the White House, and now that they've written about it, the students have a new goal: to present a signed copy of their book to the president in person.
But, Bradford said, the learning experience already has been enormous.
"There were history-making successes; unforgettable disappointments and invaluable lessons learned that will last a lifetime," Bradford said.
The student authors recently signed copies of their book alongside CSI: NY actor and author Hill Harper, who was the keynote speaker at a special Crenshaw High School assembly. Harper signed copies of his award winning books Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny, and Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny.
Harper met student author Trestan Fairweather and his digital media teacher Daphne Bradford, at one of Harper's book signings where he asked if he could come to Crenshaw High School to visit the entire student group.
The full color book was written and photographed by teen authors Mia Henry, Trestan Fairweather, Diana Parra-Garcia, Rene Rosales, Esaul Parra, Bryce Bailey, Kevin Rivera and Domonic Wilks.
A portion of the book sales will go to college scholarships for the authors.
The Crenshaw Digital Media Team will host their first official public book signing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 21-22. The team has invited LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy to support their efforts with a special appearance at their booth #843.
Bradford is the founder of "Mother of Many," or MOM, a non-profit organization teaching digital media to inner city high school kids.