Jess (16) has been busy helping her local library run the Summer Reading Challenge this summer. This is her second blog post about her experiences as a volunteer. You can also read her first blog about why she decided to volunteer.
So with the summer holidays drawing to a close, the Summer Reading Challenge follows suit. From my final few volunteering sessions, I learnt that the target of 440 children signed to the challenge was exceeded by ten. This felt fantastic as the staff felt that the volunteers had really helped them exceed this high target! They were even worried it wasn't going to be met!
I spent some time in one volunteering session helping a little girl fill in the six books she had read. She was very excited when I signed her up, and so giving her rewards and the final, big medal made my day. She was thrilled and couldn't wait to have the certificate presented to her at school.
Meeting Emily Diamond
My highlight of the entire volunteering for me was the last session. I helped a published author, Emily Diamond (see photo above), run her writing session - Ways to Write a Ghost. She has just released a book named Ways To See A Ghost and to generate interest has been running these sessions to show children it's not as hard as they might think to create a character!
As the theme of her book is so in keeping with Creepy House she has been invited to all the local libraries in my area and so I felt very privileged to have the opportunity to talk to her.
During set up for the event, I showed her some of my own writing and I was thrilled when she gave me helpful advice, and even took some of it home to read. She told me all about the work put towards her book and it was very clear - she was rightfully proud of her work.
The session was a great event from beginning to end. Emily began with a talk about ghosts and soon the children had their ideas flowing. A boy who was visiting from Canada had some very gruesome ideas. His ghost was a very detailed murderer that had no head and ran riot!
There were some very intelligent ideas hidden within though. There were some Victorian maids, walking their old houses...these were the early makings of a storyline. One boy even managed to explain away his ghost with a paradox. A little too much Doctor Who, his mum claimed.
The experience was fantastic, with me achieving my first award on vInspired and having some brilliant opportunities. I've been able to write articles, I have the prospects of continuing a reading group at the library and I've helped my writing skills progress - something that means a great deal to me.
So now, finishing my volunteering, A-levels are on the horizon and I feel prepared. I'll definitely be volunteering again in the future and most likely, with the library again.
The Summer Reading Challenge has helped over 440 children in Knaresborough Library regain their interest in reading and books. It's made some budding authors, along with some future book reviewers. It's made keen readers, and regular library users. It's been fantastic!
Are you volunteering in a library this summer? Want to know how to make the most out of it? Then check out the Reading Activists ideas bank, an online community for sharing volunteering ideas and activities.
Want to keep in touch with the latest summer volunteering news? Sign up to the Reading Activists ideas flash.
Say "Hello there Reading Activists, how are you today?" on Facebook. Or just "hi" on Twitter.