These are the fine folks from Aurora U. (plus me and George) who came down to the library to work with the third graders of the Watseka area. The AU-ers, six student teachers and their instructors, Doctors Brian & Joan, sat down with the kids and helped them write their own stories.

I love working with kids. They are little “idea mongers.” You can bounce stuff off of them and they’ll come up with some dang-right crazy stuff! My personal favorite was Earl the Squirrel Moon Mission… that’s right! Earl visits the moon and encounters a kangaroo… one might think that the kangaroo jumped to the moon, but, in fact, the kangaroo was an original inhabitant. The pair, Earl and the Space Kangaroo go underground where there is an elaborate city. Is this great stuff or what? I wish I could remember the little girl’s name that came up with this… Kudos to you, Space Kangaroo Girl!

This trip had an amazing energy. I met some fantastic people involved in education and higher learning… Barbara Strassberg, Doc of Sociology at Aurora, partners in everything: Docs Brian & Joan from AU, and, of course all the student teachers… Tony, Rhonda, Nate, Brianne, Alex, & Angela. And I have to brag on my mom for being “Library Mom” and expert pencil sharpener.

George, whose vision it was to restore the Gilman Carnegie Library and devote it to educating kids, single-handedly remodeled the library which had fallen into disrepair. He contacted the local schools and facilitated the third-graders’ visit. It was not only his vision, but his own personal funding that made this happen. But as always, it was a group of people that made it happen. It could not have been possible if not for all the above mentioned people.

On a final note… I hold good thoughts for the continuation of this wonderful workshop program…. and if anyone wishes to contribute funding or knows someone who could sponsor the library’s efforts in a kids’ literacy program,  please drop me an email. And one other thing… Librarians Rock! Ms. Ashe… you know it to be true!

Hey… NOW More Photos on Squid Row Mama’s Flickr!