Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taking Students To The Sunshine Library

First published on The Great Raven.

Tuesday February 14 was not only Valentine's Day, it was the launch of the National Year of Reading. All over the country, libraries and other such institutions celebrated reading.

There was one at Sunshine Library, where the GoH was John Marsden, author of the Tomorrow When The War Began series. I went there with four students from 8B, my homeroom. Three of them, Vincent, Natasha and Braydon, are members of my book club. The fourth, Corey, is Dylan's brother. He isn't a keen reader himself, but asked if he might come and of course, I was delighted to have him with me.

We set off right after school. Natasha and I walked together, while the boys charged ahead, but fortunately, by the time we got as far as our senior campus we found them again - oddly, behind us!

It was a warm day, quite a hot walk. By the time we got to the library, we were all very thirsty. I'd brought a bottle of water, but it wasn't very cool, so we were all pleased to get inside the library, where cold cordial was on offer. I took photos of the students with books in hand, outside the library; it will be submitted for the college newsletter and hopefully for the magazine, but without parental permission, I can't show them here, so instead, here's a photo of the cake, which was cut after the launch.

Pretty, isn't it? Tasted good, too.

After a speech by one of the library staff, we heard John Marsden. He only spoke for a few minutes, about how he loves libraries, and shared memories of his childhood experiences in the school library, which was divided by grade level, only he finished all the Grade 3 books before the end of the year, so had run out of books.

After John's talk, he very generously handed out copies of a couple of his books to the children and teens. Corey thoughtfully took a copy of a novel for Robert, a great Marsden fan who couldn't make it that day. He and Vincent left for the Sunshine Plaza, with parents' permission, but Braydon and Natasha were waiting for their parents to pick them up, so got their books signed (more photos for the school magazine!) A photographer wandering around asked permission to take their photos for the library's web site, but permission had to wait till Braydon's mother arrived (Natasha declined the offer).

The photographer photographed him lounging on the library's "Reading Chair"; we will be looking out for him on the web site as soon as the disc is delivered to the library. He certainly enjoyed having his picture taken!

We all had cake and received a library bag with a few goodies in it (balloon, USB bracelet, a heart-shaped chocolate). I waited with Natasha for her father to pick her up and we had a chat about the Sunshine Harvester on display outside the library.

She said she'd had a good time and thanked me for taking her.

I headed for the station, exhausted after the long day, and met Carmel Shute, head of Sisters In Crime, who works in Sunshine and lives out my way, so I had someone to discuss books with most of the way home.

An enjoyable, if tiring, afternoon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

NYR - First Activity!

I'm back at school, with a new class and the same library. If there had been time to set up, even time for a library meeting with other campuses, perhaps we'd be doing our own launch this Tuesday. However, I have plans anyway. I've arranged to take some book clubbers to the launch at our local library, where the GoH will be John Marsden. Truth is, I I only found out about it because Selena, one of my older members, mentioned it. She got the date wrong, fortunately - she thought it was last Thursday, but the web site said Tuesday, which seems to be the general launch day all over the country. So we had time to organise. I will be taking six to eight students after school, the younger ones, as the older ones will all be doing VCE subjects that day, but they can make their own way. Dylan said it was Valentine's Day, Miss, and he wanted to go out with his girlfriend. "Take her along," I suggested."She loves books." I whipped up a letter to parents. When I handed it out to students in my own class, Rhiannon, who isn't in book club, said,"Wait. Is this the author of Tomorrow When The War Began?" and when I said yes, she held out her hand for a letter. :-) I must see if I can recruit her for the club. I really need some younger ones, because the founding members are all in Year 10 and doing at least one VCE subject(Selena is doing two). I will miss them when they go. Meanwhile, it's nice to be doing my first activity for the Year of Reading. Simple and free, something even I, with my $3000 budget, can do.