It's a Gift
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
Something good happens to you when you share some of your work for
free. Whether it’s a bit of tech support or a small kindness, a gift can
be a powerful force.
I’ve been doing this with a small arts group
in Cincinnati that writes poems for people, a project called Short
Order Poetry. We ask what they’d like their poem to be about, which
can raise a skeptical look. But when we tell them it’s free, most
people give it a try. That leads to a conversation, and often a very
personal one, that would not have happened otherwise. We type a poem for
them on a manual typewriter and give it to them to take home.
have long run or hosted free programs that help others. Some host
groups like Warm Up America! that
knit or crochet hats, afghans and other items for people in need.
Libraries host plant
and seed swaps that help people expand their gardens, and there are
other programs too.
These programs are generally for adults. It’s
not that young people can’t crochet or garden, but if you asked kids
what they could make that would help others in their community, I bet
you’d get fascinating new ideas. Asking that question could start get
people thinking about what a library community is, too.
Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator
The heroes theme for Summer
Reading is an opportunity to think about community service. A
superhero’s costume takes time, sure, but their reputation is earned by
what they do to help others.
At SWON’s upcoming Summer Reading
Program Workshop, Heather Semelroth will share a program that partners
with local non-profits to help young children help others. She’ll share
tips on building collaborative relationships with local organizations as
well as program details.
March 18th is the day for this full-day
workshop, which features five new talks from our SRP workshop last fall.