Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sing, Talk, And Read (and eat and text)

I started co-facilitating my first workshop today. How professional am I?

The workshop is an early literacy seminar called STAR (Sing, Talk And Read). We're doing it with a teen parenting group at a local high school. Before going in today my two biggest concerns were that someone would mistake me for one of the students (it happens) and that the teens would be all too cool for singing kids' songs and making lots of animal noises. One of my favorite parts about my job is how frequently I get to act like a little kid, but the part of me that loves that is also the part of me that is stupid intimidated by teenagers.

I didn't need to worry about being mistaken for a student- public school kids wear uniforms these days. Also, the security guard thought we were lost. I don't think he'd ever seen two white women trying to walk into the school before. There were a few hiccups: we only had 25 minutes instead of the anticipated 45, the program is 6 sessions long and while we will be in the school for six sessions we won't have the same girls for all six sessions, and even though the program was designed as a sort of educational story time for both parents and their children, most of our participants haven't given birth yet.

It also took place during their lunch break. So while we were standing at the front of the room, enthusiastically enticing the girls to Sing, Talk And Read with us, they were picking at their dressing free salads and lukewarm chili dogs. Lunch time is also phone time and at the beginning almost every girl was holding her phone underneath the table, texting furiously. By the end of the session we mostly had their attention, though, and there was definitely a rousing version of Sodeo with the girls shaking their noise egg along to the beat.

My favorite part of the session was when we gave the girls a mini flannel board. Flannel boards are hands down the best part of story time and using pocket folders we made them each a portable one!

Demonstrated with my baby animals from the Monkey Face set.
That's a super cute pink bunny falling out of the pocket.

The reactions ranged from "Ooooh, I'm gonna do this with my little girl tonight" to "Mine don't work, I got the bootleg one" from a mom who didn't realize that even though it's easy to pull the felt pieces off the flannel board, they will stick when you prop the folder up. It's cool, I helped her figure out how they work and now she too can use it with her baby.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh! I love the portable flannelboard! Great idea, and good for you for the creative outreach!