Friday, March 11, 2011
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
Last weekend I helped Spitak celebrate the birthday of one of the most beloved children’s book authors, Dr. Seuss! To many people this might seem a little crazy, even other Peace Corps volunteers gave me funny looks when describing my project. But since my college days of the good ole Pi Beta Phi, I have been part of literacy philanthropy. In the literacy world, Dr. Seuss’ birthday is a huge deal! Dr. Seuss is used to introduce children to the joy of reading and he serves as the perfect ambassador to literacy. Even after college, I volunteered for reading to kids and celebrated this national literacy day. So it seemed to me a good excuse to have a story time in Spitak.
This was my first event done outside of my school, with other children in my town. I worked with the Spitak YMCA staff and asked them for their permission to host this event, and they of course loved the idea and helped me see it to fruition. I invited other nearby PCV’s to participate as readers for the event, and was lucky to have Ashley, Sam, Greg and Joseph agree to come and help. The one snag in the event was that due to unfortunate circumstances I was not in Spitak for the week before the event. This meant that I did not get the chance to publicize the event as I had wanted to. I actually didn’t even get the chance to tell my own students about it!!
So the day of the event I was a little bit nervous. I had no idea if any kids would even show up! But as I was making my way down to the YMCA I noticed I had a following of school children behind me. As I stopped and waited for my friends to meet me, the children ran toward the YMCA with excitement. They were actually excited to attend a story time on a Saturday!!! It turns out that I had nothing to worry about. We had over 25 students attend the event and only 3 of them were my own students! Though I had originally hoped that the turnout would be closer to 40 students, I think it was a great turnout for my first event. I think the kids had a lot of fun and would love to come back! I love doing projects like this!! I hope that next school year I can have a story time for children once a month! I also hope to start some other programs at the YMCA. It is such a wonderful resource that we have here in Spitak! They have an awesome staff that really want to do exciting programs for the youth.