Site Visits

Monday, July 20, 2015

Chelan Public Library Summer Reading Program

Some of the crew from my visit to
Chelan Public Library
Further proof that learning doesn't have to stop when school lets out. Last week, about 35 learners and several parents and grandparents came to the Chelan (WA) Public Library for their weekly Summer Reading Program. Jennifer Oatey has them charged up about reading, and in a community where poverty and dis-advantage is common, the learning that takes place through programs like these is incredibly valuable to those kids who want to move ahead in the coming year of school.

I wasn't exactly sure what or whom to expect for this visit. I've done school visits but this is different, as it's by no means required. In fact, on the day I spoke, it was about 95 degrees outside, beautiful sunshine (like just about every other summer day in Chelan), and the lake was warm and inviting. And  yet, come they did.

Ok sure, maybe some came for the raffle drawing that takes place at the end of each week's events. They huddled around the prize table long before I got on stage, debating the merits of each prize. But ultimately they came for the books. And on this day, Fibonacci Zoo, was THE book.

Jennifer has done a great job of procuring and then featuring my book in the library, inviting patrons to check it out, both figuratively and literally. I noticed the audience was a bit on the young side, more like ages 3-7 than the older kids I spoke to earlier in the year.

As I am experimenting with different components of my presentation, I had been told to expect ages through maybe 5th or 6th grade. So I added a part about the writing process, about the two-year project that culminated in the publishing of this book. I think I lost some momentum there, but I do see potential for that part of the story with a slightly older audience.

See, my goal, as a speaker, is to be able to tailor my talk to any audience, from the smallest children to the more...ahem...'veteran' readers. So I have to be able to throw in (or out) a variety of stories and messages. So I lived and learned. The kids were so excited to meet each animal in succession, especially so when they figured out that they come alphabetically. And I loved watching the faces of the parents light up when they connected the Fibonacci Sequence (the actual numbers) in their minds.

Was it my best presentation, in the end? Probably not. But I'm learning that you can't throw a no-hitter every time out. As long as I can pitch my team (Team Fibonacci?) to a win, we'll call it good.

Big thanks to Jennifer at Chelan Library for setting this up for me. And now it's time to branch out from my little community. Next Monday, July 27, I will be in Bellingham, WA, at the famous Village Books, at 4:00pm for an author presentation. Another new experience, another chance to try different combinations out, depending on the audience. I may not know what that audience is until I show up, but sometimes, that's half the fun!

See you there!

No comments:

Post a Comment