This Morning at the Library Part ll

Made my return trip to the Antigua Public Library Easter Camp this morning. Well, sort of. I was late and by the time I got there the kids were well in to a session on fast changing technology (nothing like a session featuring rotary phones, and those old beige pre-Windows, pre-internet, floppy disc compliant desktops with the black screen and the green type to make you feel ancient). I distracted myself (read: made myself useful) by reading through the booklets the children had prepared in response to the writing challenge thrown down on my first trip to the camp this season.

Library 2016 1

A moment from the first trip to the library. That’s Musical Youth, which I’m preparing to read and, on the chair, Diana McCaulay’s Gone to Drift and my own Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings (read Country Club Kids from that one).

I couldn’t help feeling after reading what the children had written that there is need for more and much more consistent engagement between young people and the written word – there is a level of discomfort and lack of enthusiasm reflected in so much of the writing – a sense of going through the motions – and the writing level considering the age group was not where I expected it to be. I selected a handful for the prizes the library says it will be giving – mostly where personality shone through and where with so much of the writing being unimaginative, use of language occasionally surprised me.

I’ve been considering doing some writing activities for kids – maybe with the library – and if that goes forward (given that I remain intimidated at working with children because, be honest, kids are scary) will be investing research time in to figuring out ways to make it fun and lively for them, but also ways to unlock their imagination.

So that’s what I came away from this with. Well, that and recording of me practicing a reading for my return visit. They didn’t get to hear it because, like I said, I was late. But you can, here.

-by Joanne C. Hillhouse, who has since added creative/creative writing workshop for children to her workshop/course offerings.


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