From March 25-27, Jackson Elementary School hosted the Rondo Children’s Book Conference. The program focused on the Rondo Children’s Book Series, which includes Joey and Grandpa Johnson’s Day in Rondo written by Dr. Artika R. Tyner and illustrated by Broderick Poole and Mr. Rondo’s Spirit: A Story About a Man and his Community written by Ericka Dennis and illustrated by Mychal Batson.
Rondo Avenue Inc. and In Black Ink partnered to produce these books, which In Black Ink says “transform the rich experiences of the historic Rondo community into stories that will introduce eight Rondo core values to our youth.” The authors and illustrators each have direct connections with the Rondo community.
On the 25th Marvin Roger Anderson took time to speak to the 5th and 6th grades classes at Jackson Elementary School on the history of the Rondo Community before Dr. Artika Tyner read her story. On the 26th Ericka Dennis held a book reading of her book, Mr. Rondo’s Spirit. On the 27th artists and illustrators, Mychal Batson and Broderick Poole held artist’s workshops for the kids at Jackson Elementary.
Please read short biographies of the writers and artists, provided by In Black Ink, below.
Dr. Artika Tyner (Author of Joey & Grandpa Johnson’s Day in Rondo)
Dr. Artika R. Tyner (a.k.a. Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire) is a child of Rondo. She is a passionate educator, an award-winning author, a civil rights attorney, a sought-after speaker, and an advocate for justice, who is committed to helping children discover their leadership potential and serve as change agents in the global community. She is the founder/CEO of the Planting People Growing Justice LLC where she provides training and resources for entrepreneurs.
Ericka Dennis (Author of Mr. Rondo’s Spirit- A story about a man and his community)
Ericka Dennis is an actress, director, playwright, and now, author of her first children’s book: Mr. Rondo’s Spirit. Ericka grew up in the Rondo community where she currently resides. She has 20 years of artistic service to youth and the Rondo community. Ericka has written and directed plays, taught theater arts to youth and performed on various stages across the Twin Cities area.
Mychal Batson (Artist – Illustrated Mr. Rondo’s Spirit)
Mychal Batson is a freelance designer, illustrator, writer and futurist who grew up in the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota. He credits his 15 years of experience in the Rondo/Frogtown community for helping him become the man and artist he is today. www.mycdazzle.com • Instagram @MycDazzle
Broderick Poole (Artist – Illustrated Joey & Grandpa Johnson’s Day in Rondo)
Broderick Poole is an artist that specializes in acrylic paintings and patch manufacturing. He is an illustrator and graphic designer from St. Paul, Minnesota. Poole is the owner of Vintage Pooleboy Art and Apparel. He mentors emerging Rondo business owners and teaches visual arts to children.