Anyway vs. Anyways vs. Any way

 This weeks #WriteOnWednesdays tip comes from Candid Brandon who is highly sought after in her roles as writer and ambassador for African-American children's literature. Candid has worked with the likes of Sleeping Bear Press , author Brynne Barnes, and has also had a hand in several successful children's books currently on the market. She's decided to assist us today by educating us on the proper use of Anyway, Anyways, and Any way. Check It Out!

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#WriteOnWednesdays - Just Say It!


When you say something make sure you have said it.
— E.B. White

Word to E.B. White! Nothing grinds my gears more than a writer that fails to get to the point. It creates a lack of clarity and the potential for major miscommunication for the reader. With writing, the expectation is simple. BE CLEAR. You want to make sure that readers can follow your message by making your writing easy to understand. The last thing you want is for a reader to come up with his or her own interpretation for your work. An interpretation that is an obvious opposite of what you were attempting to convey. Whether it's creative writing, nonfiction, professional writing, or an email, don't allow your message to get muffled by using extra words that make things confusing. When editing your work, edit to:

  • Shorten
  • Sharpen
  • Clarify
  • Simplify
  • Improve order
  • Improve logic
  • Make sure nothing is left out
  • Review everything from the readers point of view

And when all else fails just ask yourself, "Are you being clear or writing to impress?"-- CTB

#WriteOnWednesdays - Always Write for Yourself

 Get insight and info from the talented writers at Brandon Publishing every Wednesday for our "Write On Wednesday's" campaign; encouraging writers to set Wednesday aside for writing!  This week we gather advice from author Gabrielle Cavett  author of Hidden Minds as she reminds us to "Write For Yourself." Check it out! 

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Shasta Averyhardt - History That Must Be Heard

This amazing African American woman worked her way from the mean streets of Flint onto the LPGA tour. A wonderful story full of resilience and struggle. Being a black female golfer comes with it's own set of burdens. What's amazing about her is, she only wants to use her accomplishments to help inspire others to create their own (accomplishments). 

"People love to learn how to become better. I'm constantly working on myself to be better than I was yesterday; so I decided to highlight topics that relate to something I've experienced before. I want to have a positive influence and be a voice for women in a male dominated space. " - Shasta

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Hidden Humility

Just two days from releasing her first book and one of the most important moments of her life; Gabrielle is not focused on herself, but others.  She's the ultimate example of humility, and that's one of the main reasons she will have enormous success. 

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Getting Ahead Of The Game

Getting Ahead Of The Game

by Gabrielle Cavett

Flint, MI-- 

On October 10, 2015 an amazing conference will be hosted by Kenneth Vaughn. The entire panel will be centered around preparing students for the next phase in their life--college. Whether we are high school students or adults going into college, many come to the conclusion that the new experience can be daunting and packed with increased levels of anxiety and fear. This is why Vaughn believed it was a good idea to host the conference and assist in easing these emotions. Vaughn decided to call on several natives of Flint (Kellen Brandon, Ashley Green, Adrian Walker, Eric Woodyard, and LeMarcus Howard) who have had great success post college to bring a new perspective on this un-treaded path students are soon to embark on. I was lucky enough to catch up with the man behind this incredible event, and also learn about his passion for community. 

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

My vision for the students is for them to gain as much knowledge as possible from our speakers. That will prepare them for the next level.
— Kenneth Vaughn

When speaking about the conference, we were able to discuss Vaughn's vision and goals. While anyone entering college is welcome to attend the conference, Kenneth spoke about the importance of thinking about college long before your senior year. "The students in the beginning stages get a chance to prep before things really matter. If you have college on your brain early on, you will prepare yourself well before that time comes," says Vaughn. 

I simply asked Vaughn, more about the goals of the conference. I was quickly made aware that this conference would be much more than a one time deal. It was a small piece of the vision that Vaughn had for the students of Flint. "The event is totally for the students to learn and engage with like-minded people that don't fall too far from the same tree," he said. He also spoke about how he specifically hand picked certain individuals from the community. " will give students an idea of what it looks like to capture success coming from the same streets and neighborhoods that these successful panelist came from." I began to wonder where his passion for students was developed. Vaughn informed me that "...I had a specialization with youth development so I've always been interested in working with students specifically." I've always been interested in watching our youth grow and develop into amazing young men and women." 

I’ve always been interested in watching our youth grow and develop into amazing young men and women
— Kenneth Vaughn

Vaughn wanted to make sure that I understood as well as others reading this article, "This conference will be useful to students because this will be the first time a lot of these students hear this message. Utilizing your resources, time management, and financial freedom after graduation, are all items they need to think about now!" Vaughn wants to encourage students to go after as many scholarships as possible and not allow debt to be a deterrent for enrollment into college.

Vaughn's college journey started about 50 miles from Flint at Michigan State University. "I was accepted to MSU on December 20, 2004. I started in the fall and I was kicked out by my second year. I was placed on academic recess and a mentor along with several other faculty put their names on the line to get me back into school. I finished in six years and now I'm applying for grad school at the HALE (Higher Adult Lifelong Education) program in the college of education." Vaughn seems to be very grateful for the adults that poured into him and assisted him in staying afloat on the college level. It brings everything full circle in understanding why this conference is such a huge deal for him. More importantly, Vaughn knows the value that hearing the messages that will be provided by the speakers are so vital to students achieving their goals and dreams. 

Our students don’t want to work anymore, all they want to do is rap, play sports, and make tons of money. Education isn’t important to people anymore,
— Kenneth Vaughn

Lastly, but surely not least, Vaughn wants to provide students and parents with the "realities" of college life as a student. He believes that parents have truly taken a step back from the responsibilities of preparing their youth for success in the real world. It could also be a result of many parents in the community not having the chances and resources to achieve success also. Vaughn's conference is sure to impact all who attend. If you're a student, parent, mentor, or friend, make sure you attend. *GC

July 29th

by London B

A trio of educators from the Michigan area had an innovative idea to make an authentic change within their school district. They understood that in order to get the results that they desired, there would have to be alterations within the current conditions of their school district. Their vision was to "dump the culture of compliance," and encourage "real learning". The group met quite often to discuss what this "new culture" would look like. Their meetings were so engaging and progressive, that they decided to take the meetings elsewhere. That destination was twitter. Two years ago, via twitter, these incredible individuals created what is now known as #COLCHAt. An interactive chat with educators across the globe all working to build a Culture Of Learning. The chat has been so successful that the group has decided to release a book entitled "COLChat Reflections- Creating A Culture Of Learning, One Day At A Time." The book will be published by the independent publishing company Brandon Publishing; it has also been stamped by Wall Street Journal best selling author Jon Gordon. (Release date is set for September 2015)

The trio went to the airwaves tonight to talk more about how this awesome desire to create an organic learning experience was developed. Click here to listen to the entire interview.  

Click the links to connect with COLChat's "marvelous three": Adam Hartley, Michele Corbat, & Rodney Hetherton.



"The Power Of EDCamps."

By London B

July 13, 2015

If you're not familiar with #ColChat then we suggest you become familiar and quickly. This group is not a reinvention of the wheel, but it's definitely the Goodrich tire. COL is an incredible community dedicated to improving our learning environments. It's a pathway to connecting with a global community of educators. If you're interested in education and innovation, then this is the group for you. 

Tonight will be the re-launch of the annual #COLCHAT via twitter (COLCHAT is returning from a brief summer break.) The community will gather at 9pm EST. COLCHAT will also be hosting guest Annie Whitlock, an Elementary Education Professor at The University Of Michigan-Flint. She'll be discussing The Power Of EdCamps and their benefits. Many will be joining the chat tonight to also share and reflect on their experiences with #edcamps. Be sure to tune in. #Impact #BP #Education


Stand Up 

By London B

June 11, 2015

"Stand Up" is an amazing short written, filmed, edited, and performed by McGrath Elementary(Grand Blanc, MI) students. The film is an output of the Brandon Publishing 'Create Program,' in which youth are given the opportunity to build many skill sets that will help them be successful in an ever-changing society. The focus of this program is literacy and self empowerment. 

The McGrath Elementary students sought out to accomplish many things with this film. The first, was to raise awareness toward the many negatives that come with bullying. It's a problem that cannot be ignored. The students also wanted to accomplish a reality show, informative documentary, and traditional style movie all in one. Amazingly, they were actually able to accomplish this. Their strong belief in each other and their abilities to accomplish something that many adults would've advised them against, stems from the foundational lessons taught within the "Create Program." 

We know that you'll enjoy this youthful, exciting, and heartfelt film as much as we have. We encourage you to "Stand Up" to any and all injustices within our society. Find out more info about the "Create Program" and getting your students involved for next fall by clicking the button below. You can also order a copy of the film from the BP Store. All proceeds go toward providing amazing programming for spectacular students. 

Click the link to watch


Stand Up "The Premier Of Year"

By London B

Grand Blanc, Michigan- On most occasions a gathering of adults and students on the campus of McGrath Elementary would most likely involve some sort of after school event, athletics, bake sales, or parent teacher conferences. Yet on May 26, 2015, the school and it's community gathered for a much different reason. A movie premier! For 6 weeks 35 elementary students, along with the Brandon Publishing staff, worked diligently to develop a short film masterpiece entitled 'Stand Up.' The short film focused on the ever growing issue of bullying. Students were able to give their perspective on what it looks like and how to solve it. Students wrote, directed, filmed, and acted in the project.

This program was amazing. I got to work with kids I never talk to in school. I also got to see how bullying truly effects kids in my school and around the world. Plus I’m in a movie. - McGrath Student
— McGrath Student Actor

The short film is an output of the Brandon Publishing 'Create Program' established in 2010, but the focus is much larger than after school programming and events. 

As a former athlete I was always celebrated for my talents on the court. I regret not going after my true passions, writing & acting. I was ashamed because I didn’t feel supported. I’d hate to see youth miss out on their purpose because adults aren’t equipped to see how purposeful these types of events and programs are. So we created a way to produce and most importantly empower these young people into careers and dreams that before this program they may not have believed they could accomplish.
— Kellen E. Brandon | Publisher
The short film didn't disappoint and was previewed by over 70 community members in the library at McGrath Elementary. NBC News also felt the need to cover this amazing story broadening the range of awareness for youth and their message. Click this link to watch their coverage. 
The short film 'Stand Up' is available for purchase at the BP Store. All proceeds go toward more incredible youth programs and events such as this one. Be sure to subscribe to our event post.