Tomorrow I’m beginning a creative writing project with the kids from the Richmond Square Branch of the Montreal Children’s Library. I’m totally stoked about this project! It’s called “A Community of Words” and is in collaboration with the Blue Metropolis Foundation, and of course, the Tyndale St- Georges Centre, where my branch is located.
As the project leader, I’ve been organizing a group of 9 kids to participate in this 6 week creative writing workshop. A Canadian Author, Claire Rothman will be visiting the library to help teach the kids about the creative writing process.
I’m really excited to see the ideas the kids come up with. They have some wild imaginations and are constantly surprising me. Working with them has been so unbelievably mind-opening to me I feel like I’ll really miss their influence when I leave. These kids totally have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in Canada, and all over the world. They’re not afraid to tell you what they like and don’t like, tell you your clothes look dorky, if Lady Gaga is cool, and try and cheat when you play checkers with them. They know things you’d never expect kids to know about. Most of them think reading is boring, though I’m slowing trying to change their minds about that. One of them was telling me today about how Zac Efron is gay.
Most of the kids who use my library are black, and from the Little Burgundy neighborhood. I also have a lot Bengali, North African, and South Asian kids. Most of them speak English and French, in addition to their native language. A lot of them have siblings who use the library, and I get to know their entire families. Some of them are cuties and sweeties, while others are headaches and troublemakers. After doing storytime at 3 different daycares, and seeing maybe 50 babies, then dealing with the wild animals in the library in the afternoon, I still manage to enjoy myself and find energy to play Uno, watch puppets hows, and read comic books with them.
Yesterday 3 of the boys did a puppet show for me – the first act went roughly something like this:
3 headed dragon enters stage left.
Skunk enters stage right.
Skunk: Hey dragon! You have 3 ugly heads!
Dragon: Shut up or I’m going to melt your face off!
Skunk: I’m going to spray you!
*Sound of skunk spraying dragon*
Narrator: The dragon shoots flames out of it’s heads and melts the skunk’s face off. Then, he eats the skunk.
Skunk: AHHHHHHHHHH!!!! (as he’s being eaten)
Narrator: But the skunk smelled so bad the dragon died after he ate him.
Skunk and Dragon exit.
Overall, amazingly believable acting and truly great puppetry from these young geniuses!
I’m looking forward to this project and hope to feel inspired yet again by these awesome kids.