The YWCO Girls Club distribution was so cool!The girls are divided into age groups, and each group has an assigned reading period each day. I set up the books in one corner of the “reading room” and waited for the first group: 35 five-year-olds.This is the first Books for Keeps distribution where the kids have had time to browse the books…… to sit down and read a little……. to show each other their choices……. and read a little more…..Seriously, you can tell they’re interested… they WANT books!Smiles like these remind me why I’m doing this.There was a near revolt in the 7 year-old group because I didn’t have enough Junie B Jones for everyone. The girls were crushed. I heard myself promising to come back Monday with a Junie B for each girl in the group. That settled things, and they got busy choosing other books.It’s fun watching kids collaborate on their book selections. The next three groups, (8, 9, 10 year olds) ALL wanted Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I’d have been smart to leave the few copies I had at home. Another near revolt, but it’s an expensive book and there’s no way I can buy new copies for everyone.And here’s what happens when you don’t have enough Goosebumps to go around…. this was the last copy and I was “lucky” enough to catch the conflict on camera. I was strangely honored that the girls were willing to talk books with me. Some asked me for recommendations. Uh, I haven’t read all this new stuff, and they do NOT like Nancy Drew! Another item to add to the To Do list. It was fun [...]
I don’t know why I thought YWCO camp was going to be a quick and easy thing to do… there are 200 kids!Registration is complete and I’ve received a breakdown by age. I’m trying to think of some interesting things to do that will make it fun to read. Here are a few ideas I’ve had… chime in with yours (please!)- For the 5 girls in the 13-14 year-old group, I’m thinking about giving them each a different book by the same author, so they can compare notes. OR give them all the exact same book so they can have a mini-book club during camp. Of course they get to choose some on their own, too. I’m thinking at the end of camp, they have a choice of keeping the book and choosing 2 more, or giving the book back and choosing 3 more.- For some of the younger kids, I’m thinking of giving them all a book from the same series. The teachers at Alps have suggested that starting younger kids out with “fun” series books they recognize helps start a thirst for more. So maybe all the kids in one age group will get a Junie B Jones, and for another age group everybody gets Captain Underpants. Then they can share stories about what happened in the different books.I’ve also got some ideas for encouraging kids to choose some of the non-series books. First and foremost, giving them more time to choose. I’m mulling over how to accomplish that, plus other alternatives too.Finally, I’m considering how to present the books to the kids. Do I have time (or energy) to prepare [...]
I met with the counselor at Alps yesterday, just following up on how the Summer Satchel program went and ideas for next steps. I mentioned wanting my next project to be handing out satchels to the kids living in the homeless shelter, and she said “well, most of them will be attending YWCO camp here this summer.”Next thing ya know, I’m being introduced to the YWCO folks and I’ve volunteered to provide books to 150 girls, ages 5 through 14. I’ve gotten used to ages 5-11. But what in the world do 12, 13, and 14 year olds read? I’m still trying to accept the fact that nobody from the younger crowd wanted Little House on the Prairie or Nancy Drew. It was all Goosebumps and Captain Underpants (and I haven’t replenished my supply yet!)Please send me some recommendations! You can see my inventory on Library Thing; I’m listed as “yenalem”.On a more somber note: from what I understand so far (hopefully it will change!) things are quite crowded at the homeless shelter and there’s just no room for them to store any books. I literally cried on the phone when I heard that. If you grew up surrounded by books, you know exactly what I mean. I thought books were a God-given right. I’ll keep trying; they’re mulling it over.