Thursday, May 23, 2013

28 Books, 5 Movies, 12 Bus Transfers: One Unbeatable Afternoon


We took a hit before we even left the building: we were down two kids, one to acute nerves (this is totally different than anything we had done) and one to a double header of Sports Day vomiting. 

That brought the total to 9 kids, 3 adults and 4 hours in front of us, and then the bus was late. More than a few minutes late. if there had not been another passenger waiting with us I would have moved to panic mode. As in, these kids think we are heading to the library but we missed our bus and we will be in the lobby calling parents soon. My principal was with us, THAT's not good for your job when your planned trip falls apart in the first 10 minutes. Thankfully I didn't go to that dark place out loud and the city bus swooped by and we had everyone loaded before I could stress about missing our connection. Those are the moments you wonder what in the world were you thinking, hoping everything comes together just right.

It turns out everything DID come together just right and we had a blast! Ice cream in a parking lot is always the best way to start an outing. Hopping on the bus was new and fun for 10 of us.

Library cards turned up through the week and we walked through the doors with all but 2 kids able to check out books. Amazing success rate when just a week ago I had one library card to spread among our 10 kids. Our Public Library underwent a massive renovation last summer and most of our kids had not been in the meanwhile. So the ooohh and aaahhhhh factor was totally there as we entered and that was so much fun to see their reactions.

As they settled down and really got into the shelves the magic happened for me. We were able to hit their favorite authors and series and these kids who have read almost all we have at school GOT IT. They saw first hand that scary books surrounded them, we could find those funny zombie books and that all 14+ Big Nate books were on the shelf. Gratification was seeing these kids get lost in the possibilities they saw. And then take that next step and realize they could take part and get what they wanted. Watching the kids pour over the age appropriate movies was another fun highlight.

Whittling the piles was another step in the fun. Bringing a roomy backpack was the best decision I made and that (seriously, ok) heavy backpack didn't bother me one bit as we headed back the 8 blocks for the bus. Time will tell if these kids remember the Public Library as a resource for them and the best way to access the world outside of Loveland. The adults involved have already mentioned going again and this is absolutely something I want to add to our year. Because if I look at just the numbers, this was a homerun. We got books into the hands of kids who are not frequent Library visitors and we shared a way for them to participate in that. Total cost, $4.50 for bus fare round trip and $9.00 for ice cream. Talk about time and money well spent.