I haven’t been writing because so much is going on, good and not so good, that I’m just happy to be keeping my head above water. I’m only writing this now because I’m at my desk eating lunch and it’s weirdly quiet in here at the moment.
I have a get together for my Reader’s Rally team scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. This is the group that gets a list of 15 books from the county, reads them all and prepares for a big quiz bowl. Something like 60 elementary schools are descend on one high school in early March to compete in this event. Every year I figure out tips and trick to get my team better. My first couple of teams did pretty badly, but we’ve always had fun. Then they slowly did better each year until last year when they placed in their Division. This year they got 140 more points than last year and got second in their Division. So now the pressure is on to figure out how to do even better than that next year and try to be in the final four teams who go on to the next level.
I think part of why we didn’t do that well for a while is that I didn’t take it seriously. I like reading and talking about books but the whole quiz part seems silly. When I tried to get out of it a couple years ago my principal made it clear she expected us to represent our school well. So I thought, okay if I have to do this I might as well try to do it right. So yeah, it’s not really a reading thing, it’s more of just a challenge to do as well as we can with this particular game but that’s fun too. And the students who find books they love which they might not have read otherwise makes it worthwhile. If team members like a book, they’ll talk it up and get it passed around. This year the best book, in my opinion, was The War that Saved My Life by Bradley.
Then Thursday night we have our school’s big Literacy Night. Since we have a Star Wars theme this year I got the idea to contact the all volunteer, charitable organization the 501st, a/k/a “Vader’s Fist.” These are the folks who dress up in movie quality Star Wars outfits and visit children’s hospitals and such. A few of them are going to make an apperance here in the library Thursday evening. I’m going to ask them to dedicate a pile of new Star Wars books and comics I’ve bought for the library and get pictures with the kids. I hear there is going to be a “Rey” that will read them a story and I just found out the best part. They might be bringing in a replica of R2D2! R2D2 I say! Just…wow. He’ll be the hit of the night. I promise I’ll get lots of pictures and video.
Then I have to have everything ready for Monday because a) I’m going to the Georgia Children’s Literature Conference in Athens on Friday and Saturday and b) one of the authors, David Biedrzycki, will be here all day doing four big presentations for my students!
So yeah, it’s crazed right now. I have lists of lists of to do lists I’m constantly checking and double checking. Just getting the schedule right fro everyone in a school to have a chance to see the author AND eat lunch AND go to Specials is like getting ready for D-Day, logistics-wise.
But it’s totally going to be worth it. The Reader’s Rally kids will have fun. The Literacy Night thing will be awesome. I love that conference and have high hopes for the author visit. Then after all that? I’ll probably go hibernate…