Today I get to experience one of the parts of my job I love - getting kids to write.
The librarian and I are sponsoring write-ins for National Novel Writers Month at the school library before school for our 4th and 5th graders. Friday five kids showed up and parents stopped me Friday afternoon to ask if we'd be there today. I reminded them every school day in November, so I'm hoping for more today.
What surprised me were the kids who did show up as they weren't the ones I expected. It excites me that we are encouraging another generation of writers. It also reminds me the power of my words - not the written ones, the spoken ones. I tell kids all the time to think about folks like Christopher Paolini, the author of "Eragon," and how he was just a teenager when he published for the first time. I tell them that age doesn't matter. I tell them what does matter is taking the chance.
The librarian at the middle school was thinking of doing the same, which would be great for some of my older students who are now there. Of that first group of students four years ago are now 7th graders and many make a point of telling me they are still writing.
I want to build a generation of life long writers. Maybe they will stick with fiction, maybe not. I just think the more we all write, the more we all stay in touch with what's important. Writers tend to be readers and learners and one of the big problems in this country is at some point being educated and being smart became something to be mocked. If we start the habit of always being learners, then that attitude can start to fade away.
I'd like to think that maybe part of fixing the world and solving some of our big problems can be solved by people willing to take the leap of faith. What bigger leap of faith for a kid than trying to write a novel at the age of 10? It may not be "War and Peace," but it will be a sign that they are willing to try and tackle a big project.
Time to get ready to head in, I have to set up for some kids to get writing. :)