Rodney Jackson book Rocko Rocket
Yolande & R. Jackson
Yolande Clark-Jackson is a writer and middle school teacher at Conchita Espinosa Academy in Miami, Florida where she teaches writing and manages a student journalism program she founded with her husband Rodney ten years ago. In 1990 she won a Dow Jones journalism scholarship for a summer program at Marshall University which convinced her that she would one day become a news reporter, but in 1992 she discovered her love for teaching after working with first graders in an after-school program. In 1993 and 1994 she assisted a principle investigator for a NASA research project at Morgan State University. It was an experience she says helped to inspire the creation of the Rocko Rocket character.
Besides writing books about Rocko and working with middle school students, Mrs. Jackson is currently working on a non-fiction book for adults and a MFA degree in creative writing from Converse College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
R. Jackson is a pop artist, designer and educator. For over ten years, he has been exhibiting art internationally with the Miami Design District’s Diaspora Vibe Gallery. As a New World School of the Arts student, R. Jackson became a YoungArts finalist and won level one. This made him a presidential scholar nominee in 1990. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art at the top of his class, with a Thalheimer full merit scholarship in 1994. It was in 1995, however, while teaching at a preschool in Sudbury, Massachusetts, that Jackson found a split basketball with the word “Rocket” on it. He turned the ball into a puppet, and his wife Yolande brought the character to life by creating his story and giving him the name Rocko Rocket. Mr. Jackson currently teaches at the Ocean Reef Art League and art directs for two Miami-based publications.