Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Kids Are Alright

This Friday, May 25th, @ 7:00, join your favorite folks at the Kids Are Alright, a reading sponsored by the Marco Polo Arts Quarterly,* at Avid Bookshop on Prince Avenue in Athens.
All your favorite local authors (plus me) are reading.
Fun, fun, fun!!!
Find more information here.

*The piece I am reading, Danzas con Lobos en Santiago, will be published in a forthcoming issue.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ah, Advocacy....

On April 12, the night of my reading with David Lowery, I came home thrilled at how people had resonated with the UnReformed excerpt.
And then...
That same night, I found out that my school library media assistant’s position hadbeen cut from next year’s Clarke County School Budget.  Other cuts of positions who directly work with children were made.
Instead of writing UnReformed, most of the past five weeks have been spent advocating on behalf of what’s best for the children of Clarke County.  It’s the school district where my son and his friends attend. 
It’s been exhausting, yet rewarding.  In this era, it’s important for all of us to become activists about a myriad of issues.
Of course, you are hearing this from a former reform school girl.
One aspect that is mind-boggling is realizing that in some places, school libraries are not just being underfunded, but cut. 
As a writer, a reader, and a school library media specialist, I know this is short-sighted.   
School let out Friday.  Tomorrow night is the last input session on the budget.  I'm gradually reabsorbing myself into editing and finishing my book. Over the past five days, much progress has been made. 
My summer goal-- to complete UnReformed before I go back to work in August. Also, to begin looking for an agent/ publisher.   Now’s the time---in September, director Kate Logan plans for Kidnapped forChrist’s rough cut to be complete (In December, I was interviewed). More updates on Kidnapped for Christ and the status of Escuela Caribe will be posted soon.
Stars are aligning.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Love Your Library

On April 12, I discovered that the district had cut funding for all school library media assistants in Clarke County.  I love serving as a school library media specialist in Clarke County.  It’s where my son attends school.

It took me several days to process the shock, and to begin to realize the implications for the school library program at our school.  We serve a high-poverty population of nearly six hundred; I hadn’t realized cutting our program could be a consideration.

I am constantly working to improve our program, which cannot survive in its current iteration (much less the one I envisioned for next year) without the help of a trained assistant.  She performs numerous tasks: assisting students and teachers in finding and checking out books and materials, supervising while I teach (at least half the day), while I attend planning meetings, write grants, create resource lists, order new materials, etc.

My letter to Athens, our school board, and our superintendent, will be published today, highlighting some of my concerns. Nationwide, we all need to speak up for our libraries.