That needs to be said right off the bat. There is no way to live up to the things that Joulie does with her kids. And for the kids at the school. And for the neighbourhood kids.
Luckily, I don't have to be as good as Joulie - I can just wait until she organizes something, and jump right in. (And now thanks to this post you can, too.)
Her latest venture is a mother-son book club. It's a fantastic way to get kids reading. It's also a boy-celebration of books and of reading.
|I love this shot of Joulie as she tries to say something over the |
din of boys drawing, and eating, and laughing - in short,
celebrating books in a way that only boys can!
While the presentations were being made, some kids were listening attentively. Some were eating cupcakes. Some were drawing. Some were wandering around, listening but moving. That's boys! A boy book club is not going to be about perfect silence, waiting turns, putting hands up. No, a boy book club is about doing, and calling out, and giggling, and moving around, and challenging each other. And that's perfectly fine.
Our boy book club had everything that boys like - including poop jokes, and stories that end with "and then he died," and swords and questions and laughter and physicality.
It was by far the noisiest book club meeting I've ever been to. And probably the most fun.
After the presentations and name tags and cupcakes and t-shirts, Joulie handed each child and each parent an 8x10 envelope. She instructed us to write the beginning of a story on one side of the envelope. Why an envelope? Why not? Next month we'll use wood to write on, she said, or cloth or whatever else is an interesting medium for writing.
After everyone had started their story, Joulie shuffled them and everyone took someone else's home. Our "homework assignment" is to continue the person's story on the other side of the envelope.
Then each child submitted the title of a book they would like us all to read for next month. We chose one by random draw: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book I. Next month we'll all have read the book and Max's mom will be the one to come up with the trivia questions and to bring the snacks. Joulie's going to supply another craft, because she's amazing at it.
The first meeting of our mother-son (and one father-son) book club was a noisy, lively, celebratory, exciting... success! We all gave Joulie a passionate round of applause and a big hug.
This book club is going to be the start of something big for our kids.