Our Story

…well…it all started one day when my younger sister, Himani, was drawing pictures…

My sister and I both share a passion for writing and drawing.

We went to a public elementary school with other kids from diverse backgrounds. We met countless fellow students from all walks of life who were fantastic at writing, art, music, and dance… but they did not have the platform nor the resources to showcase their talents.

As you might imagine, that meant there was also no real way for them to get actual recognition for their hard work. (Unless you count a pat on the head.)

The afternoon that the Pen-Stars got started, my mom asked my little sister about what she would do with the drawings she had been working so diligently on finishing that day.

Himani pointed to a plain old folder, and she said that she’d just save them in there with all the rest. Mom took a few minutes to look through Himani’s folder and she was amazed at how beautiful the drawings were.

She asked if there were any competitions at school for art, or if there were any ways to recognize the efforts of talented young artists. My sister shook her head no. She said that she wished she could put her drawings to some good use, and she mentioned the other equally talented kids at her elementary school. She wasn’t alone.

I chimed in at that point, telling my mother and sister about a girl in my class who was a great writer and artist. She had written a couple of graphic novels, but didn’t have a platform to exhibit her work, either.

In fact, there were kids all over with artistic vision and gifts, and often they were made to feel as though their efforts didn’t even matter… made to feel like the best thing to do with their art was to just stuff it into a folder or a dusty drawer.

As soon as the words tumbled out of my mouth, it was almost as if a light bulb went off in our heads. It suddenly occurred to us: how wonderful would it be if we could tie kid-made artwork with stories and publish them in a book? It would be a way to keep kids engaged in creative activities, motivate them to bring out their inner authors and artists and, most importantly, dissuade them from spending their time on electronic devices.

And so, The Pen-Stars™ Series was born.

We took stories and pictures made by kids and turned them into a book series. Himani and I co-authored the first book, and we collaborated with other kids on the second. We’re working on expanding the series every year.

To help children connect with their true potential and express it to the world, we created The Pen-Stars Program, a series of workshops and an after-school program to run alongside the book series. We use the books as a tool to get other kids inspired to write their own stories, about their own passions.

Over the years, we have spread our program at schools, libraries, and learning centers all over Fairfield County. Our goal is to make the Pen-Stars Program accessible to as many children as possible, especially to underprivileged children who might lack the resources to show the world their talents.

I would like to share here that our inspiration to do this came from my maternal great grandfather, Dr. Ram Kumar Chaube (www.ramkumarchaube.in), who had the distinction of holding master’s degrees in 22 different subjects. He dedicated his life to attaining knowledge and imparting it to others.

We at the Pen-Stars are committed to carrying on his legacy by helping children reach their full potential, through our books and programs.

As time goes on, we hope to see more and more children join our galaxy of  Pen Stars.

Stay tuned for what’s more to come as this is just the beginning. We have more fun ahead of us… more stories to share… more light to bring to the sky.

Sushmita Narayan

Chief Executive Officer