MMES Students Rapped and Were Enraptured by Author/Illustrator Jef Czejak!


On Thursday, Manchester Memorial Elementary students had their second author visit of the year in the new MMES gymnatorium! The program was funded by the MMES PTO.

Jef Czekaj is a local (Arlington) cartoonist, children's book author, illustrator and musician. He conducted three sessions for grades K-5, each focused on a different book that he had written.  He showed the students his writing process, beginning with his sketchbook, numerous drafts and the final, published product. Jef explained about the working relationship he has with his editor, his publisher and other authors whose books he has illustrated.  He discussed the fact that he has to make a LOT of revisions in his work and take a lot of criticism and suggestions from his editor throughout the creative process. His main point to the children is that he is a “regular dude” who decided to make drawing and storytelling his career. He encouraged and inspired the kids to get an inexpensive sketch book to write ideas and draw/write for themselves, just like him!  The students were very engaged in Jef’s presentation - both while reading/rapping aloud as a group and asking follow-up questions. Jef was impressed that MMES students knew how to pronounce his name...something they had practiced! "Jef Check-eye!" It was another great enrichment program funded and brought to MMES students by the MMES PTO.