It’s officially Fall here in Homer, Alaska. I know that because of the yellows, oranges and reds that dot the landscape, the dead and dying salmon whose bodies lie on local stream-sides and because of the darkness, the elusive darkness that we trade each August for the long, fun-filled days of summer.
Every year I plan to spend August reflecting on the summer programs, assessing what worked and what needs to be modified in the future. I also dream of having a couple of weeks to plan the months ahead. Once again, the reflection has been squeezed between program planning and hosting, grant writing, leading trainings and webinars, desk time and reviewing Caldecott submissions. Hours of reflection are a figment of my imagination. You know what I mean.
One thing I do know is the summer was a good one in so many ways. Not every aspect of our summer learning program went as planned or had the outcomes we intended, but overall we succeeded.
- Kids, teens and families kept reading, learning, playing and creating all summer long and they often did them together.
- Families found support at the library.
- We continued to find ways to fill learning voids in our community.
- We provided supported access for a diverse audience of kids to all sorts of media.
- I mentored another young woman who graduated from the local high school and spent one last summer mentoring younger kids in a variety of programs before heading off to MIT. (I’m so proud and sad to see her go.)
- We grew positive community partnerships.
I’ll share my reflections on specific aspects of the summer program in following posts.