Friday, July 1, 2011

EVERYONE has a story.

The world does not need tourists who ride by in a bus clucking their tongues. The world as it is needs those who will love it enough to change it, with what they have, where they are.
-Robert Fulghum

One world, many stories. Everyone has one. Some are just more interesting than others. Other people's stories broaden our views. By hearing the tales of how other people live, we expand our way of thinking. The world is more than just you. The world is more than just your community. The world is vast. Everyone is different, and yet we all share some remarkable similarities. I don't think I need to list them. You can probably figure those similarities out for yourself. If you're having trouble figuring the similarities out, stop in at your local library and pick up some books about people living a life different than the one you're living.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't originally very excited about the summer reading theme this year. It seemed a bit too much for me to tackle. I liked the theme, I just didn't know which direction to go in with it. One World, Many Stories. I decided to focus on one country per week over the course of our six week program. I wasn't sure how that would go over with the kids. I was kind of thinking they wouldn't be interested. Ahhh, but I forgot, kids don't have that same kind of self-centeredness that we adults sometimes have. They don't have the same kind of baggage attached to other nations. The people of China cannot be summed up by everything "made in China". The people of Mexico are not all the U.S.'s illegal immigrants. While we may see Africa as a place of starving children, that does not sum up the lives of all of the people living there. Afghanistan is more than the Taliban, Nebraska is more than just cornfields.

The kids have enjoyed learning about other countries. I'm not much of a linguist, and the books I've chosen have had some words in the language of the week. I'm thankful to those people yesterday who helped me out with those Spanish words that I was massacring.

I'm glad that the theme of the year that I thought might be a dud, has been one of the best ones we've had in a few years. The kids have gotten the chance to think about other places in the world besides their own communities. It may sink in a bit more than it does in the school setting, simply because it's done in a different way. It's done through stories.

If you don't know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don't know the stories you may be lost in life. --Anonymous

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