Thursday, April 22, 2010

Whispering Wednesdays

As I took a potential volunteer on a tour through the Connect U computer lab yesterday, I was greeted by Iesha with a nice firm handshake and good eye contact (as usual). However, as I continued walking into the lab and talking about our programs, the kids quickly shushed me.

"You've got to whisper, Miss Janet!"

"Why?" I whispered.

"Because it's Whisper Wednesday!" they whispered back in unison.

I loved it! It was so quiet in Connect U. Mr. An (our IT specialist who oversees Connect U) explained that it was Miss Katrina's idea. So I ventured over to the library to check them out as well. Sure enough, they were all as quiet as mice. Katrina was sitting on the floor with two kids leaning on her, eagerly listening to a book she was reading to them, three other kids were sitting at the table doing their homework, and a few others were in a different section quietly browsing for their next book to read.

Since September 2009, the library has sold over 170 books to the Roseland Community. The kids love buying the books (for 25 or 50 cents) and building their home libraries. When I used to walk over to the library, kids would often be running around, talking loud, and distracting each other. Katrina has done an amazing job. These days, the library seems more like a library. Kids sit around and read or do homework. When story time comes around, 15-20 faces look eagerly at Miss Katrina as she reads and does activities with them.

Building a community around reading...does it get any better?? :)