Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Family Literacy Nights in Mexico

I often perform at Family Literacy Nights in the US--I've got one coming up this Thursday in Wamego, KS. I had three in Mexico last week, at two branches of the same school in Monterrey.

The first show was difficult, in large part because of the setting. It was in a big echoing room, with many small children who didn't understand enough English to care what I was doing up by the microphone. I realized too late that I should have asked the parents to sit with the children. I think the librarians were as dismayed as I was.

The next one was that very night, at the same school. Fortunately, we moved to a smaller, cozier room and there were only a couple of tiny children who sat easily with their parents. It was a completely different experience!

As the families came in, I played with the kids, getting them to sing "Twinkle, twinkle," "The ABC song," and "Baa baa, black sheep," all at once. When I began the show, I discovered that the students were great fans of Robert Munsch. They knew some of my favorite Munsch stories, such as Moira's Birthday and Stephanie's Ponytail. I told one they knew and one they didn't, then went on to my own stories. We had a fabulous time! I even got a fan letter from one of the parents the next day (hello, Adriana!).

At the end, as often happens at Family Nights, kids came up to say goodbye to Trixie:

The next night I was at the other branch of the school. They've had more Family Nights, so the families knew what to expect. Here are a few pictures from that session:
The parents were wonderful listeners as well.

At the end, kids came up to ask for my autograph. We were in a hurry to get to the airport to fly back to Mexico City, but there was still time to sign a few. Trixie didn't sign, though--she's left-handed while I'm right-handed, so it would have taken more time.
Here's the real payoff for a Family Literacy Night: kids checking books out of the library after the stories. At this branch, the children are told they can borrow extra books if they come to the event. As a former librarian, this makes me very happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...