I can’t believe it’s been an entire month (actually, a little more than a month) since my last post. It feels like it was just yesterday…but then, I’ve been busy.
Since my last post, I visited with every Kindergarten through fourth grade class at the town’s elementary school (unfortunately, the fifth graders were too busy this year to see me). In a happy new twist, the school’s Library Media Specialist arranged to have the classes walk over to see me at the public library instead of the usual arrangement of me walking over to the school. We’re very fortunate to be located on the school’s campus, just across the street from the elementary school and right next to the middle school/high school. While the transit time to and from “my” library meant that I had half the usual time to talk to each class, I was very pleased that some kids who had never before been in the public library got a chance to see what we’re all about. I have a feeling that some of those newbies might participate in the summer reading program now that they have visited the library.
And then I’ve been busy with all of the preparation for the summer reading program. This is my seventh summer reading program, and I’m happy to report that all my years of obsessively fine-tuning my preparation systems are really paying off. I’ve learned to type up notes to myself each summer, so that the next summer goes more smoothly; there are always glitches and things that could have gone better, and it’s really helpful to type up those things so that I don’t have to try to rely on my memory each year. It’s so nice to be really hitting my stride in my job, and to reap the benefits of my hard work and record-keeping. The beauty of reaching this point in my career is that I can spend less time building programs and systems, and more time fine-tuning and perfecting. The groundwork has been laid, I’ve paid my dues, and now I get to really dig my heels in and truly enjoy my job and take my role to the next level of excellence. I hope that my town and coworkers like me as much as I like them, ’cause I’m hoping to spend many, many more years there!
Back to what I’ve been doing this last month: how could I forget to mention the Ice Cream Social? Always the year’s biggest program (even bigger than the Lego Expo), this year’s Ice Cream Social was the biggest ever. The weather was perfect – dry, slightly overcast, and not too hot – and hundreds of people showed up. At one moment of panic I actually thought that we would run out of ice cream, which is remarkable since we had seventeen and a half gallons of the stuff! Luckily, though, we had just enough ice cream for everyone, and it was the best ice cream ever, thanks to my favorite ice cream stand, Erikson’s Dairy of Maynard. A million thanks to Erikson’s for making it possible for us to purchase their ice cream to keep the masses happily well-fed! And a million more thanks to the fabulous group of volunteers who helped with set-up, clean-up, ice cream scooping, face painting, and management of the toppings table, bubble station, and sidewalk chalk station. Without those fantastic volunteers, the Ice Cream Social wouldn’t be possible – THANK YOU all!
The summer prizes went out on Wednesday, and I’ve seen the hours read by the town’s kids going steadily up on the online reading site. Current number of hours read by the kids: 314.76. Wow. And I love that the kids are more focused on reading, and less focused on prizes; only a couple of dozen kids have come in to get prizes so far, but I know that there are at least a hundred kids actively tracking their reading at this point (and that’s just the kids who are using the online program – there are countless others who are tracking their reading on the paper clock sheets). Wow again.
And that reminds me that I’d better hunker down and get some reading time in myself, so that I have something impressive to post on my reading log sign in the children’s room come Monday. Next up for me: a re-reading of The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. Happy summer!