Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to School

Well, I am gearing up for Back to School - let's see if I get any more cooperation from the high school this year (I somehow doubt it).

I am in the throes of putting together my homework drop-in program. Both Salve and Roger Williams (my alma mater) are encouraging their students to participate, and I am psyched. I also have one high school honor student who's interested, and I have decided to open the volunteering up to high school kids who want to help middle schoolers. There's a target date of the first week of October for the program's start, so the coming weeks will be spent recruiting and training tutors and setting up some sort of schedule. Then, we'll see if anyone comes in for help... I am really excited about this.

There's also been a little more interest in the Teen Spot Reviews program, so I think I will push that right from the start this school year. I've been told that my biggest "tactical error" with the program was that I started too late in the school year last year, and the kids were already too swamped with school work. I need to get out there and do some begging for prizes - as much as it bums me out that kids need to be bribed to participate in things, I'm am certainly not above it. Hey, whatever it takes!

Speaking of bribery, I have decided to exploit MySapce - not for the kids, but for the hordes of YA authors that have coming-a-courtin' my profile. So far I have been able to wheedle some advanced reader's copies and even a few free published books out of the authors and publishers in exchange for a teen review. I have been hording them and plan to use them as bait (Free book for you to keep! Be the FIRST one to read this book!) to attract some new reviewers.

I am also preparing for my school visit again. This year, I am going to combine the parent's night visit and the "hang out in the hallway" visit in one day. Last year, I went to parent's night one day and hung out in the hallway a few weeks later - it's a lot of crap to schlep. The school librarian really wanted me to hang out in the school library all day, but I felt that I wanted to be more visible than that - the only kids that would have seen me were kids whose class was having a library period that day. So, instead, I set up in the hall, and bribed the kids to come over to me with FREE bracelets. It's a lot like taming a feral cat. This year, I begged for an additional 50 bucks for the trip and I have braclets AND carabiner highliters AND pencils! wOOt!

These activities make me strangely happy - I never in a million years pictured myself doing this stuff. I'm also frustrated - and not just because it's so hard to get the kids to get involved. I've kinda screwed myself here; 15 hours is not nearly enough time to do the YA stuff and the other things I am supposed to be doing (like weeding and shifting books). But, since I just pretty much "created" this YA "position," (meaning that the position doesn't actually exist and weeding and shifting should take priority), I just need to be quiet and do what I can. Ha.

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