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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Summer Reading to Build a Better World

Who is as frustrated as the proverbial "one-armed paper hanger"?  A puppeteer with her arm in a cast!  Yes, I'm talking about myself.  O.k I can still tell stories and have several programs this month and next even while a shocking pink cast protects my broken wrist.  Since all are historical programs where I wear long sleeves, I worried and checked.  What a great relief to find they all fit, especially my World War I "Hello Girls" uniforms!  Also a friend pointed out it would be appropriate using a sling to cover up that non-historical, but hysterical pink.
(No, this isn't a picture of me with a broken wrist)

After so many years as a children's librarian, I can't help it, January and winter weather always gets me thinking about Summer Reading Programs.  I'm so glad I won't have to wait until summer for my cast to come off!  My summer program last year had me and Priscilla Gorilla cheer reading, and we will again, although this year with stories supporting the 2017 “Build a Better World” multi-state summer reading program theme.  The program's title is "Cheering You On to Build a Better World with Stories from Many Lands."  The stories deal with the important ideas of cooperation, friendship, and stopping bullying.  Many include audience participation to help young readers make the stories their own and easily carry the ideas away with them.  As for the use of puppet sidekicks, such as Priscilla Gorilla, it lets an audience join in more intimate fun than is possible in a large assembly program.

You can already find some of those cheers, the ones related to reading and libraries, here on this blog. That program from last year is always a great program for reading and fits both schools and summer reading.  Some will still be used because they're about reading..  With one hand unavailable for puppetry, now is the perfect time to create some additional cheers about cooperation, friendship, and stopping bullying as we work to Build a Better World.  Since even typing is currently slowed down I used a lot here from my website about summer reading programs because my hand is still quite sore.  Since my handwriting now is even worse than my typing, I'd love to have my readers send me their own cheers on cooperation, friendship, stopping bullying and any other ways for young summer readers to Build a Better World.  I'll gladly credit you for your creations.  This blog doesn't tend to provoke controversy, it's not my style, so comments here are fairly rare, although, because I also announce it on Facebook and Twitter, comments tend to come there and in my email.  However they may reach me, I think these ideas are truly needed.  Building a Better World is something to cheer. 
My webpage I mentioned tends to be more of a sales page and I notice something there which probably also should be mentioned here: I qualify for Michigan grant funding as I'm in the Arts & Humanities Touring Directory (on page 52).  Beyond that I'm still very much a librarian and I understand library budget limitations.  Aside from thinking very creatively about ways to finance a program, if there is any way I can work with a library's budget, I promise to do so.

Fortunately I already put together a list of stories and two books I highly recommend to help you in your own storytelling to Build a Better World: 

Ladies First


A Strange Friendship  (Marlu & Willie Wagtail)

The VIBs 

Tops & Bottoms 

Brementown Musicians  

Cat & Mouse Who Shared a House 

The Elephant & the Dog (Jataka) 

Old Joe & the Carpenter 

Bird in the Hand 

Difference Between Heaven & Hell

Test of Friendship  (Syria)

Filling the House

All the stories in Margaret Read MacDonald’s book, Peace Tales, also helpful is Bobby and Sherry Norfolk’s book, The Moral of the Story; Folktales for Character Development, especially their bibliographies.  When I worked regularly with teachers I often recommended them for problem classrooms.  Their topics: Peace, living in harmony with one another; courtesy, kindness, and compassion; honesty; work ethic; teamwork and cooperation; humanity; responsibility; respect.

I look forward to your cheers, casting off my one-armed status, and the eagerly awaited return of summer!

Michigan Humanities Council publishes an e-newsletter and this is from their February newsletter:

2017 Arts & Humanities Touring Grants
Apply today - take a look at our Touring Directory and select a performer for your community event! 
 The 2017 Quick Grant cycle will open Monday, February 13, 2017.Please allow up to four (4) weeks for your application to be processed.
Quick Grants provide up to $500 to Michigan-based nonprofit organizations in support of public humanities programs.
Visit our website for more information.

Yes,  I'm in the Touring Directory and qualify for those grants.

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