Deep Center has named 11-year-old Jade Davis, a 6th grader from Isle of Hope, Deep Laureate for winter 2016. The honor recognizes Jade as one of Savannah’s “deepest” young authors, whose creative writing is among the most skilled, original and fearless in the county.
“I feel happy and proud to be named Deep Laureate. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before,” says Jade of the honor. “I’ve always been a writer, and I’ve always written stories about my life. But that kind of writing I had to do in my room. Now I write these stories in Deep, and all of Savannah is my audience.”
Jade was one of more than 127 students who completed Deep Center’s fall semester 2015 Young Author Project, and she was voted to receive the honor by a combination of her program peers, the general public through a social media campaign, and Deep’s staff.
Works by all participating students have been published in four anthologies, which were sponsored by International Paper and are on sale for $12 at deepkids.com and in circulation within the Live Oak Public Library system. Artist Adriana Manrique has illustrated the covers. All book sale proceeds support Deep’s nonprofit creative writing workshops.
“Jade’s writing is brave, compelling, and honest,” explains Dare Dukes, executive director of Deep Center. “She perfectly embodies the kind of creativity, expressiveness, and leadership we nurture at Deep Center. We are so proud of her, and Savannah should be, too.”
The Deep Center runs the Young Author Project in 13 of Savannah’s 18 public K-8 and middle schools, and up to 70 percent of the students come from low-income communities. All Deep kids, selected by their teachers, participate in a rigorous series of after-school writing workshops throughout the semester. Workshops are taught by volunteers, who are themselves published and aspiring writers.