School visits today!

It’s a great day for me – today I begin the week-long school visits at the elementary school to promote the library’s summer reading program.  I already visited one class last Friday, a great group of fourth graders, but today begins the real deal.  I’ll see four classes today, three tomorrow, four on Thursday, and four on Friday.  Then a couple of more classes next week to finish these visits off.

At my visits, I read a story or two to each class, then talk to them about summer reading.  Then, depending on the availability of the computer lab and the age of the students, we might also go in to the computer lab and have each student log on to the library’s website and follow the link to the ReadsinMA page in order to create an online summer reading account to track each student’s reading hours.  Given this summer’s theme of “Go Green at Your Library,” these online accounts seem particularly appropriate this year…though obviously we’ll still have the clock-face paper logs still available (and I can’t deny the educational value of the clock faces for the younger children, since they help them visualize what fifteen minutes of reading looks like on the clock, and also help with those clock-reading skills – a skill with which today’s children seem to be struggling).

Speaking of that theme of “Go Green,” I have one gripe.  I had a GREAT idea of wearing a t-shirt with a big recycling symbol on it to each of my class visits, and ordered two shirts, one green and one black, from an online t-shirt company.  I had visions of making a real statement about the environmental message in this year’s program.  This seemed especially key, since I’m asking that attendees for the Ice Cream Social consider bringing their own non-disposable bowls, cups, and spoons to the Social in order to reduce the amount of trash created (with over 400 attendees at last year’s Social, I felt a little ill as I hauled away trash bag after trash bag of used styrofoam bowls, paper cups, and plastic spoons).  The cool t-shirt would really get the message across, as the recycling logo stared at the kids through the whole storytime and into my spiel about the summer program.

But, alas, apparently the women’s fitted t-shirts on this t-shirt site were made for a twelve-year-old girl and not an actual woman.  Even though I bought size large, I still could only barely squeeze into the shirts.  And it’s not like I’m a really big girl, either – maybe I need to lose seven pounds, but that’s no excuse.  It was a huge disappointment when the shirts arrived in the mail on Friday, too late to order replacements.  The only option now is to wear plain green shirts all week, which still works but isn’t nearly as cool.  In defense of this online t-shirt company, though, they sent me an email saying I will be credited for the full purchase price, and I can keep the two t-shirts.  Since the shirts don’t fit me, I think I’ll make them summer reading raffle prizes for the kids…

At any rate, I’m still very pumped for this week’s class visits, and I’d like to publicly thank Mrs. Harvey, the most awesome Media Specialist around, for making me welcome and putting up with the piles of summer reading bags all week.  Thanks, Mrs. Harvey!!