I am in Ohio and you are not. I am so sorry for you. Okay, so librarian Bill Prosser and his colleague in literary crimes, Joyce Christman, were waiting for me at the wrong terminal. Okay, so the zipper on my carry-on bag broke and I couldn't open it to get to my cell phone to call them. We met up mid-escalator and all was well. Okay so we went to the wrong hotel first. But I finally found my room and, bearing a box of cookies presented by Bill and Joyce, I settled in for the night.
|What could be inside?|
|Cookies! Ohio State cookies!|
Here is one thing I love about Bill Prosser: he picked me up at the hotel at 8 am this morning and drove me straight to Starbucks! Photo to follow but the man has hundreds of used Starbucks gift cards festooning his library.
I didn't tell Bill right off but I was stressed about meeting the first group of kids which ranged from pre-K to 2nd graders. I have NEVER spoken to pre-Ks before!!! Guess what: if you are going to speak to pre-Ks for the very first time, make sure they are the pre-Ks at Bailey Elementary. The first presentation was awesome!! And so was presentation 2 and presentation 3. At least from my viewpoint. Bill and the staff had thoroughly prepared the kids for my visit, down to properly intoning "Winston the Wonder Dog." (I will have to capture this magic on camera tomorrow.)
|Look at how Delaney had marked up her book!|
The day is a bit of a blur. . .I was jet-lagged after all. But I remember looking out at rapt faces and I remember answering thoughtful questions and signing tons and tons of books. All in the inspiring setting of the Phillip Niemi Library.
|This mural is wildly inspiring!|
Take my advice: if you ever, ever get invited by Bill Prosser to visit his school, say yes. Yes! And I'm not saying that just because of the killer Snickerdoodles homemade by PTO parent Amy and because of the amazing dinner at Amy's house this evening. The lovely dinner to which Joyce and I arrived late because she graciously took me shopping for a replacement carry-on bag.
|My new carry-on-- thank you, Joyce Christman for taking me shopping. . .|
I wish more than anything that every kid could be part of a community like Bailey where the staff gives their all every day while having a darned good time doing it.
|Visitors from Ashland, Ohio --including (far right) Bill Prosser's big sis, Martha|
|Martha, me and Bill -- you missed the hilarity as we posed this pic-- I didn't realize I was supposed to be in it!|
I am moved by my time here. And if you have any doubts about the power of public education to make a difference in a kid's life, just spend a day here. Lives are being changed. Future leaders are being formed. Children are being loved for exactly who they are.
Wow. What is day 2 going to bring???**
**(lunch with the Newbery Club, for one thing!)