Where We Begin

We did it: six students, six weeks and now six stories. It seemed impossible in the beginning. Yet with time, effort and courage, we wrote about life and a lesson we have learned. Then, five students joined us and they learned how to express emotional themes through images.
Writing and drawing gives us power to share our experiences and recognize our strengths. As we forge a place into this world for ourselves, we take with us our education. Laura Wheeler Waring is part of where we begin.



FAQs About Where We Begin

Who wrote the stories?

The stories were written by the students of Laura Wheeler Waring Elementary School in Philadelphia, PA. The students participated in a workshop led by Chantal Jauvin for a period of 8 weeks. They learned to develop characters, create scenes and write dialogue. Although Chantal edited their work, the stories are theirs.

The artwork included in the book is also the work of students attending the same school. Mike Storm, their art teacher, inspired them to express themselves through drawings.

Who gets the profits from the sale of the book?

All profits from the sale of the book are being donated to Laura Wheeler Waring Elementary school to support activities for all students who attend the school.

How can I support the school and its students?

Laura Wheeler Waring school strongly encourages the involvement of the community. If you are interested in volunteering, donating money or supplies, please contact Friends of Waring at https://friendsofwaring.weebly.com/. This is a neighborhood association which coordinates the collaboration of the community with the school.


    An 8-week writing workshop for 6 students who attend Laura Wheeler Waring public elementary school led by author Chantal Jauvin. The school is located in Art Museum area of Philadelphia (PA) where Chantal and her husband have been residing for over ten years.

  • The GOAL

    Creating a collection of stories written by the students based on their personal experiences which focus on small acts of heroism.


    Each week, Chantal and the students gathered during their lunchtime. They learned to identify a story that is theirs and how to tell it in a compelling way. They faced the inevitable challenge of the blank page, the question of how much of the truth to disclose and the task of developing writing techniques all within a few weeks. They learned that concentration is sometimes hard and written words require more attention than spoken words.

  • The RESULT

    « Where We Begin » A self-published book with six stories written entirely by the students and illustrated by five of their art classmates. Their words and art give life to stories of loss,
    growing self-confidence, fitting in and learning to stand up for their values.

    The profits from the sale of the book go back to the school to support other student activities.