Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Postcard & The Clipboard

One of my all time FAVORITE programs are the outreach visits I do with our local "Girl's Night Out". A friend of mine who, at the time, worked for the YMCA, contacted me to visit her middle school girls. The girls meet once or twice a month to develop positive relationships and discuss issues before entering high school. So the group has invited me for the last few years to talk about "Positive Freetime" aka READING. And I pick a huge crate full of books to booktalk and show off. And bookmarks, of course, with all the titles listed. And a spot to write down a few that their friends might have mentioned. I give out highlighters so they can mark the ones they want to read. 

A couple of years ago I brought along a clipboard. This has changed my life. 

West Bend Library has a fantastic volunteer program for summer reading. I schedule between 40-50 volunteers. How do I get these kids? A lot of word of mouth. But at these Girl's Night Out events, I bring a clipboard. I do a schpeal about volunteering at the library. I keep it brief. You can work with friends. You can work around your schedule. It looks great on college applications. I could be a reference for you when you start looking for jobs or scholarships. etc. The girls can add their name and address to the clipboard if they'd like to be invited to the orientation in May. No Obligation! But then I have a really great starting list for volunteers. And I welcome them to bring friends. It's a win-win. I've gotten quite a few non-library users. Which, a lot of times, brings in more family members. 

Then in May, ta da! The Postcard. A personal invitation to be an essential part of the SRP team! 

So essentially, I'm getting my clipboard ready and putting together my list of middle school reads. I was telling my colleague how I wanted to add new titles but didn't want to not include my favorite classics. A sad farewell to these titles: The Golden Compass, Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, Ella Enchanted, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants... Maybe next year. 

But on the plus side, I'm adding Hattie Big Sky, Matched, Beautiful Creatures, Dancing in the Dark, and maybe a few others....

oh and woo hoo... our book club is watching Perks of Being a Wallflower tomorrow! so excited.

No comments: