Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m sharing an awesome event that I was able to attend. It was Nerd Camp, right here in Michigan, and it was totally free.
What is Nerd Camp? It’s a place where teachers and librarians can gather and share their ideas. If you ever get a chance to go, I would highly recommend it. Naturally, the focus was on reading. Amazing speakers sparked the opening ceremony with incredible speeches. Their goal was to encourage educators to turn students into lifelong readers. They stressed that kids needed to be able to choose what they read. By having the freedom to choose what they read, students were more likely to develop a lifelong love for reading. And isn’t that the goal of a teacher and a librarian?
Donalyn Miller spoke, and she told us the story of “The House that Reading Built.” It was wonderful to hear, and it made me realize I wasn’t alone in my worries about the decline in reading. Each speaker spoke about how reading books changed their lives. I felt like I had found my tribe. I’ve been speaking about the need for reading from my tiny soapbox, my blog, for the last couple of years, and here I was with people who felt the same way I did. It was an awesome experience.
If you’d like to read Donalyn’s post click here: https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/the-house-that-reading-built-by-donalyn-miller/
Raina Telgemeier also spoke. She’s the famous author of “Smile.” She told us about her writing and how it had not only changed her life, but the life of her schoolgirl crush. It was amazing to hear this author share parts of her soul with all of us. It made her seem like all the rest of us. Human.
There was a surprise speaker as well. Kate DiCamillo. The winner of two gold Newberry Medals and two silver ones. She wrote “Flora and Ulysses.” She shared her girlhood story of how she conjured up a pony for her friend. It was a humorous and heartwarming story. It made me realize we all have those stories in our souls that need to be shared with kids of all ages.
I went to a couple of break-out sessions after this amazing opening session. One was about blogging and it was interesting and eye opening, but the one I really enjoyed was the one about helping high school students reinvigorate their love of reading.
It seems that many high school students don’t identify as readers. This doesn’t surprise me with all the activities kids have available to them today, reading has gone by the wayside. It’s too bad. Reading has gotten me through many of the dark moments in my life. It is an excellent way of coping with stress. Maybe if kids became readers again, they wouldn’t have as many issues that they have today. Anyway, that’s another blog post for another day.
This last session was great because the presenter gave us tools to find books for kids when they can’t find something they like in the classroom library. The more access kids have to books, the more successful they’ll become. It’s a statistical fact.
Photo via VisualHunt
Anyway, I wasn’t able to attend the third session, but I’m sure it was just as uplifting. It was nice to find like-minded people like myself, and it gave me some added incentive to finish my novels. I’ve got two that I’m heavily invested in at the moment, and I’m excited about them.
This camp has certainly inspired me and I hope if you’re a librarian or teacher you’ll consider going next year. It is a positive experience to say the least.