Start and Lead Creative Writing Classes for Children at Local Libraries

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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!

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37 Responses to Start and Lead Creative Writing Classes for Children at Local Libraries

  1. Kim says:

    What a fantastic idea! I think I will definitely add this item to my list.

  2. This is a great idea and one I will be bringing to our artist’s collaborative for next summer! Thanks for the follow and I look forward to reading more of your work.

  3. maxcharge says:

    This is seriously impressive. Not only are you a fine writer, but you took a very entrepreneurial and dedicated way to volunteering. Congrats in a job well done! Keep it up, and keep us updated!

    • Aw thank you Max 🙂 Also, not to be creepy, but I saw in your About section you’re from Brooklyn! My mom & a lot of my family are from there (yay, Brooklyn!)

      • maxcharge says:

        Brooklyn rocks! Have you been? It’s becoming such a hub for everything entrepreneurial and fashionable and cool (read: hipstery) – really growing a character. I love it! Also, not creepy at all, haha; I have an “About Me” section for a reason.

      • Haha, it does! I actually used to live there two days a week when I was really young & my parents both worked, so I’d stay with my grandparents. But yup, I love going there!

  4. What an awesome thing to do! Yes, I have enjoyed volunteering for children, too, and the more fun and creative you can be, the better. In other words, LET IT FLOW! Sounds like that is exactly what you did — put your creativity into a solid plan and boom! Lots of success! Kudos!

  5. Pat . says:

    What a great idea and congratulations to you for following through.

  6. Melissa T. says:

    Good for you and best wishes!

  7. What a great idea, and I have no doubt that will have an amazing time . . . I’ll be really surprised if you don’t learn as much or more than the kids do, and I’m sure you know what I mean. 🙂

  8. What a great idea! This was very inspiring. I love children and can imagine how helpful this would be for children! Keep up the good work!

    Love,

    Ness

  9. raffyayaladvo says:

    That is awesome. I may just decide to steal your idea for a future community project. 🙂

  10. 4mygodsglory says:

    Wow! Thanks for the inspirational site and our ability to motivate others to live life…to live deeply, to live for others, to live in the moment….to truly live the life God has so richly blessed us with! I hav really enjoyed what I hae read thus far, and thanks for dropping by and following my site. I am looking forward to more inspiring adventures that will keep me thinking bout what ican o next! Awesome!

  11. dhonour says:

    I stopped by to say thank you for deciding to follow Wine and Cheese (Doodles) and this post caught my eye. I’ve just been approached by someone about doing something similar to this and while I love the idea, I am petrified that I am completely unqualified to teach anything! I’m so glad you had a positive experience, it gives me heart. Thanks again, and hope to see you around!

    • Hi! Glad to follow your blog! And that’s so cool someone asked you about doing something similar, but I’m sure you would be good at it! I’d definitely recommend it, as the kids are usually really enthusiastic, so I think you’d be fine 🙂

  12. Hi Christine! Thank you so much for stopping by and following my blog!

    I think your idea to share your talent by teaching a creative writing class at a local library is simply brilliant! What a beautiful idea. I am thrilled that it worked out for you! It warms my heart just to read that 🙂
    Keep up the great work, girl!

    Peace to you,
    Rachel

  13. Kudos Christine. You have done a WOW thing. And i would be one of many admirers you would make in the future. Cheers

  14. I think I’ll make a helping other bucket list, plus the one I already have. I love this

  15. noirfifre says:

    “Sharing is caring, it can be fun” Someone in a cartoon said this, I cannot remember the character now.That was a great way to meaningfully occupy a child’s time.

  16. amreimer says:

    Christine, I am so happy to hear that you were able to do this. I have been considering doing this for a while now, but was hesitant whether the libraries would be interested or not. Thank you for a wonderful testimony!

    • Ah yes, it was a blast and worked out really well! It took a while finding a couple libraries that were interested, but that was because I called during the summer, when many of them already had their summer calendars developed, so my only recommendation would be calling now or as far in advance as you can to set something up 🙂

  17. Pingback: Kind Acts Bucket List | Turquoise Compass

  18. This is a great idea! I’d love to do something like this with kids on teaching practice, could you possibly get in touch with me and give me some pointers?

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