Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Program: beTWEEN the lines

I wanted to come up with a regular, monthly program for the tweens, so I decided to start a book club (plus, I love book clubs). I set up a consistent day and time and provided some copies of the books before the club. Our first book was Frindle by Andrew Clements.

Honestly, I didn't expect this to be very well-attended. My supervisor had tried a book club before and had only ever gotten a handful of kids. So, even though in my first two weeks of work I had multiple parental requests for a book club, I expected to have very low attendance.

I was right. I had five kids registered for the club - three showed up. All girls. I provided snacks and had come up with a list of questions beforehand, so I felt prepared. Even though I only had a couple kids show up, I think it went well. The girls were all enthusiatic about the book (they all loved it) and they all seemed pretty eager to answer my questions. They had lots of opinions about the different aspects of the book and they weren't afraid to let me know. However, we blew through all my questions pretty quickly. I was a little nervous when I reached the last question and checked the time, but I shouldn't have worried. I planned on doing an extension activity: having the kids make up their own words (with definitions) and then checking the dictionary to see if they actually came up with new words. The girls each come up with at least 10 words (sadly, I only managed 3) and, though we ran out of time to check them all, the ones we did check were totally new words. They laughed a lot during this part and I think they enjoyed the chance to be creative. At the end of the program, I reminded them that we'd be meeting the first Wednesday of April at the same time. I told them what we'd be reading next (City of Ember) and offered copies if they wanted to sign up right then. I also promoted my upcoming programs (two during spring break week). Two girls took the next book and all 3 promised to come back. Hopefully they will tell their friends!

I would welcome any advice, especially on how to get more kids to come!

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