Thursday, October 14, 2010
Bookstore in A Basket
One of the services that we provide is called "The Bookstore in a Basket." This is a fun, lively presentation that I do for groups or in classrooms. I enjoy this, it gets me out of the store, I get to share my love of books with others and it connects me to people in the community. (Of course if I sell a book or two that is an added bonus)
I recently had the privilege of speaking to a 3rd grade class. There was a story in their language book about a girl and her friendship with the woman that owned the neighborhood bookstore. The store was facing closure due to an increase in rent. I was asked to speak to the class about the importance of supporting local businesses and what happens in a community when stores close. It was amazing. These young students really understood the story. I wanted to believe that I was inspiring the dialog that we shared. But I soon discovered that these young students were saddened by the recent closing of our local bowling alley. They felt this closure personally, to quote one young man "Where will I have my birthday parties now? I have had every party there." Another girl was sad because she was on a bowling league and these kids really wanted to share how they felt.
I was impressed and humbled by their response. I read them the story from their language book, we talked about what happened and their questions were thoughtful and insightful. The conversation turned to books. They told me their favorites and I shared some of mine. We looked at the class frog and talked about the upcoming Oktoberfest. It was an amazing hour (although I think originally they had planned on me being there for 15-20 minutes)
This past week I was also a presenter at the MACE (Montana Association of Chamber Executives) conference that was held in Dillon. It was fun -- I wore many costumes (I had them layered and would remove one as I talked about the festival that it represented.....I think they became fearful of how many layers I was planning to remove ;o) I wore a couple of my crowns, my Christmas tree hat and a few pairs of funky sunglasses. I told them about our shop local programs and what we are doing to make Dillon a destination. They gave me 9 minutes. Those of you that know me well know that I am incapable of saying hello in 9 minutes let alone doing an entire presentation in that limited time. But you also know that I am capable of talking very fast so I managed to get it all out in about 11 minutes. I was able to convey to them what we are doing, what has worked, what hasn't and why we are having so much fun in Dillon.
I am passionate about what I do and to be able to do this for a living makes it even better. I had a great time but I have to admit being in the classroom was the best. I was impressed by the thoughts, manners and level of observation these kids shared with me. I learned much more from them than they did from me. They renewed my faith that there just might be promise for our future and that for them the possibilities will be endless. Thank you 3rd graders for a great day.