I dream all the time about the things I can do with the kids, and so for weeks I have been dreaming about getting every one of them a library card and starting a reading club. Unfortunately when missions teams are in town its so busy I don’t have time to get away and do things like that, however this week I have had a little bit of a break, and so I planned our first outing to the library! We took five girls, and off we went, they were so excited to go to the library, I actually thought they would moan and complain because we weren’t going somewhere “cool!” But the library was actually more exciting to them then the trip to the aquarium they had taken earlier in the day!
After we argued over who was going to go on the first trip, and promising to get books the boys would like to read too, the girls won and got to go. The cool part about this was that two of the girls who came are turning 8 today and so we combined our library trip with a Happy Birthday Doughnut trip too (Happy Birthday Joy and Nikoy!). I was really surprised at how good they did at the library, we had spent time talking about how many books they would each be allowed to check out, and the proper etiquette for the library before we even went to the library. The limit at our library is 30 books and right now I have 25 in my house, and trust me they have already been put to good use. When we returned from the library the plan was to have the girls come in for an hour and read, there were a few rules, there was no playing, no talking, it was quiet reading time, and we were all going to read including Ms. Amy, Miss Lizzy and myself (we like to lead by example).
So five girls turned into 9 kids and 9 kids turned in 12 and before I knew it these kids you hear yelling and screaming outside of my house were sitting in almost complete silence reading, some of them only came into read because it was the equivalent of 110 degrees yesterday and my house was “freezing” compared to that, however I don’t care why they came in, I love that they came in and they know my house is a safe, cool place for them to hang out. The other thing I loved was the fact that these kids were sharing books, handing them back and forth talking about what they were reading, and when the hour was up they didn’t want to leave, they wanted to stay and read more. I have to admit I was so surprised at how well these kids could read, and how excited they were about reading.
The plan for today is to go and buy a book basket to keep in the prayer room, it will hold all of the books we bring from the library, and that everyday for one hour in the afternoon when I don’t have a missions team here and I am home, I will allow the kids to all come in and have a quiet hour to read and talk about the books they are reading. In fact the last thing I heard last night before I went to bed, was “Ms. Colleen, please don’t forget to put the smiley face out so we know when we can come over and read tomorrow.” Next week I am taking some of the boys to the library, I am sure it will be an entirely different experience than the girls, but I am so excited! If you’d like to see the pictures from our library trip today or any of the summer activities please visit my facebook page and click on the summer 2011 Kidz Club/Camps album
Update: I called the police department to ask about the No Ball Playing signs, and while I didn’t hear the answers that I wanted too, I did have a productive conversation with one of the community officers and he invited me to come and meet with him and a few of his partners on Tuesday about how we can partner within the community and to do things with the kids. I am excited about this partnership and to dream about how we can connect. One of the other things I dream about (I dream A LOT!) is how we can help the kids to see that the police are not all bad people, and that we need to respect them, but also how we can help the police see that the kids are not all bad either, and that sometimes they just need a little love.
My prayer for today is this, will you join me in praying?
-For the community officers I meet with on Tuesday to have open hearts and minds to what we are doing on the block and to be excited about getting involved.