One of the items on last summer’s bucket list was to start creative writing classes for children. As a creative writing major and someone who loves the subject, I figured this item could be a lot of fun!
I decided the best place to start this type of program would be local libraries. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize was that many libraries already have their schedules set up long before the summer starts. After calling at least fifteen nearby libraries and often hearing the same information about the schedules already being created, I started to think the creative writing class idea might have to be pushed to next summer.
Luckily, I wound up having three libraries call me back within a few days of one another. Donna, the librarian at the first library who contacted me was so sweet and had me come in for an interview. We decided to set up a three-day creative writing workshop that would last an hour and a half in the mornings. It was so much fun working with Donna because of her enthusiasm; she created fliers, emailed me asking for advice about them, and continued to update me about how many children had signed up.
Before the workshop, I spent several hours drafting out an agenda with fun activities for the kids to work on (and especially ones that would make them want to come back and avoid being bored to tears!) There were about eight kids who showed up during the three days, who were all around ten years old. I was really pleased with this turnout and also lucked out because they were all so enthusiastic about writing!
Each day, I would go home and type up the stories and writing the kids created, so that by the end of the workshop, Donna would have a nice little booklet to give to the kids and their parents, that she also said she might publish on the library website. We ended our final day with a game of seven-up, per the kids’ suggestion! Although the workshop was supposed to be volunteer-based, Donna was nice enough to present me with a $50 gift card at the end of the three days, which was so generous of her.
For the other two libraries, there was only room in the schedule for a one-day workshop, but these were also a lot of fun. The kids at the second library were a lot younger, but they seemed to have just as much fun drawing pictures based on poems they wrote. At the final library, the only child who showed up was the librarians’ daughter, but she was so sweet and an enthusiastic writer as well and even asked her mom when I would be coming back.
If anyone is looking for a fun way to volunteer over the summer, I would definitely suggest trying to contact your local libraries to ask if you could start a similar program. Although I had to call quite a few libraries at first, it wound up being so worth it in the end. I know I’ve given this advice in some of my other posts, but I found/find it really helpful having this goal (and similar ones) down in writing, as it really pushes me to pursue them.
So has anyone else had a similar rewarding experience with teaching, leading a workshop, etc? Does anyone plan on adding this item to his or her bucket lists? I’d love to hear about your experiences!