This huge picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. greets visitors from the lobby wall.
It was created by the community and artist Franz Spohn using 12,408 GUMBALLS!
At the King Arts Complex, I worked with nine and ten year olds first. There were about 20 kids. There was drumming in the next room. Loud drumming. A counselor was tearing giant sheets of paper. And sharpening pencils. Those kids kept their focus on me and their mind on their writing. I was so impressed with their kind and polite behavior. Couldn't have asked for a nicer group of kids.
One boy pulled me aside to tell me how much he loves reading and shared some of his favorite books with me.
The writing prompt was this: Imagine yourself twenty years in the future winning an award for something important you've done. Write your acceptance speech. One boy pulled me aside and said, "I want to win the Caldecott Medal." The Caldecott Medal! Many adults have no idea what that is.
The next group of eleven and twelve year olds were too cool for school, but they did share their writing. One girl went so far above and beyond the prompt, adding a full story that involved her agent in Milan, Italy and included dialogue and an entire story around her winning the award.
These experiences are always full of surprises. And I always learn from them.
Later in the day, the young docents gave us a tour of the Thurber House.
|Meg Brown with young docents|
|Me with young docents|
|Docents giving a tour of the Thurber House|
|Part of one wall in the Thurber museum|
After the tour, I joined 100 people on the lawn for a delicious boxed dinner at a literary picnic. We heard author Karen Harper talk about her books -- how place is so important when she begins a novel -- and about the publishing process.
|Karen Harper signing books I bought for my friend Nancy and my dad.|