I don't know why I thought YWCO camp was going to be a quick and easy thing to do... there are 200 kids!
Registration is complete and I've received a breakdown by age. I'm trying to think of some interesting things to do that will make it fun to read. Here are a few ideas I've had... chime in with yours (please!)
- For the 5 girls in the 13-14 year-old group, I'm thinking about giving them each a different book by the same author, so they can compare notes. OR give them all the exact same book so they can have a mini-book club during camp. Of course they get to choose some on their own, too. I'm thinking at the end of camp, they have a choice of keeping the book and choosing 2 more, or giving the book back and choosing 3 more.
- For some of the younger kids, I'm thinking of giving them all a book from the same series. The teachers at Alps have suggested that starting younger kids out with "fun" series books they recognize helps start a thirst for more. So maybe all the kids in one age group will get a Junie B Jones, and for another age group everybody gets Captain Underpants. Then they can share stories about what happened in the different books.
I've also got some ideas for encouraging kids to choose some of the non-series books. First and foremost, giving them more time to choose. I'm mulling over how to accomplish that, plus other alternatives too.
Finally, I'm considering how to present the books to the kids. Do I have time (or energy) to prepare another satchel? Of course I'll make it clear the books are theirs to keep. But maybe add in the message that it's perfectly fine to swap books, too. And I'm considering whether or not to teach them about BookCrossing, since I've accumulated quite a few of those.
PS: I met with 2 of Athens' county commissioners yesterday, and they gave some concrete poverty statistics and told me about a demographer at UGA who could share even more. And I will share them with you! For now, it's enough to say this: Athens-Clarke county is not only poor, but our poverty is generational rather than temporary or tied to the economy. How do you claw your way out of that, if you can't read?
Giving kids books to own at home is a small - but REAL - step in the right direction.