Kids embrace celebrated author Rita Williams-GarciaWe just kicked off the 2nd year of the 67th Street Library's creative writing summer program for tweens: the Imagination Academy. This past week the focus was on historical fiction and a fantastic group of local authors came to share their insights with the kids. After a presentation by the author, which anyone is welcome to attend, the kids got to spend the rest of the afternoon crafting their own stories under the tutelage of these experienced and celebrated writers.
On Tuesday, Laurie Calkhoven shared little known stories about wartime drama which she discovered when researching her Boys of Wartime series. She also introduced the tweens to a fun round robin game where they all played a part in creating a story. By the end of the day, the kids were busy putting together some ideas about when and where their stories would take place.
Rita Williams-Garcia gave an entertaining presentation on Wednesday all about how she came to be the author she is today. She expanded the kids' more recent knowledge of history with tales of life in the late 1960s in both California and New York. Before departing, she handed out t-shirts for her award-winning book ensuring the tweens will have One Crazy Summer!
On Thursday, everyone got a taste of poetry as well as history when Maryann Macdonald shared the story of a young girl who survived the Holocaust by hiding in plain sight in Nazi-occupied France. A local class of students also attended Macdonald's presentation but the program participants got to work more intensely with the author during the afternoon session, which focused on family stories.
Finally, on Friday, the kids worked at funneling all the historical ideas they had pondered during the week into a real book. They delved through history books and shared family history as they decided what to put in their books. Then, the library staff helped them assemble traditional spine-stitched booklets whose pages were filled with historical hijinks.
Following the July 4th holiday, the program will resume with a week celebrating graphic novels. If you are 9 to 12 years old, stop by the 67th Street Library for an application to join this session or the ones centering on poetry and fiction that come in later July. This is an amazing opportunity to encourage budding writers to grow their dreams into stories.
This program is made possible by a generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. David Freedman.