Community is awesome, isn't it? Communities strive to find common ground and share values. One of our major tasks as human beings is to not only find our place in community, but to help it evolve, grow, and function.
For instance, when I moved to Northern Westchester just over three years ago, I became a de facto member of that community at-large, and have looked for my niches within the larger structure. There's my sweet neighborhood in Bedford Hills, the kids' schools, Writopia Lab and then there's the kid-lit community.
I was asked by another mom to find an author to host an event in December to coincide with the Book Fair. (And I was thrilled to find out that the school would be using an independent book store, Main Street Books as the vendor.) Knowing my author friends and their beaucoup experience in this arena, I couldn't just ask one. Why not ask a few? We all like each other so much in our community, we love having an excuse to hang out!
And then this past Monday, I got nervous about people showing up. There didn't seem to be any buzz . . . until a few of us shouted out into the universe and people in our community and others helped with email blasts and Facebook posts.
Thank you! We had over 100 people show up - the room was full of not only kids, but librarians and teachers. Our principal, Anne-Marie Berardi was there as well as Superintendents Jere Hochman and Drew Patrick. So much support!
What a treat to have Newbery Award winner Rebecca Stead, National Book Award winner Judy Blundell, the inimitable James Howe, Michael Northrop, Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner. We were regaled not only with their humor, pathos and authenticity, but with their generosity of spirit in signing books and connecting with the audience - our community! I moderated a discussion on Why Words Matter and how reading and writing saves our sanity. So many kids went home with beaming smiles, their hunger for literature satisfied.
Judy and a fan!
Thank you to everyone who came out last night to help make it a groundbreaking event at FLMS - we are sure to make this an annual event!