I've began reading to kids at the Hub. Over spring break, I read with some of the kids who were at the school with Meridian. I can't tell if they enjoyed it or not. I had fun, though. We went to the library to select books and the kids were really excited. I look forward to returning once I've received donations. I think they'll be really excited to choose their own books and get to keep them. Next week, I'm planning to go to Fairview during fourth period. I should be able to work one-on-one with those kids.
I met with Michelle Stephens and Stephanie Bowman at the library on Tuesday. They helped me sort out some details of the project. I've started making the flyer; later today I'll email it to them for help. I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to graphic design.
Talking to them, we came up with two other places to read/donate to (besides the elementary schools): the HUB and the hospital. Stephanie emailed Lindsey Button at the HUB to help set up the plans. Later today, I'll be messaging her myself. Hopefully, they'll have an after school program I can work with on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The ideal situation would be to spend one day a week there, one day at Fairview, and Saturdays or Sundays at the hospital (whom I need to email, as well). I might be able to go read at Fairview during Smart Lunch -- provided I actually fill out my off-campus lunch form.
Publicizing isn't appearing to be as difficult as I feared. The librarians are happy to let me hang up flyers at the library, and they've volunteered to advertise it on their digital platforms. I'll hang up flyers at school as well, though I don't have much hope that they'll come to good use. With Mrs. Bryson's help, I may be able to send out a mass email to all of the Jackson County teachers. Between the lot of them, I'm sure someone has books they no longer need. At City Lights, Chris might let me keep some of the kids books that would otherwise go to Friends of the Library, and I'm sure he'd let me hang up flyers in the store. Perhaps there are even some ARCs that would be suitable to donate.
The drop-off locations for the book donations have been set up (JCPL and the SMHS front desk). I need to explain to Mrs. Miller who the book donations are for.
For the most part, the preliminary planning is done. It's time to start contacting people besides my community mentors. By the end of spring break, I hope to have the project up and running -- necessary people contacted, dates set, advertising in place.
I'm submitting the proposal for my "Genius Hour" project today. I've decided to call it Books For Kids, though I might change the name. This one is a bit cliched. I want to find a way to encourage children to read -- especially children in poverty and children with low grades. I can sponsor books drives, tutoring sessions, read aloud sessions, and reading competitions. I'm not sure exactly which things out of that list I'll be doing, but that is the brainstorm.
I might be able to get Interact, YLC, or NHS to participate with it, and encourage high school students to volunteer at the Read-Alouds through the prospect of volunteer hours. If I continue with this project next year, I could apply for a grant from YLC.