What if I could create my very own children's literature society? What if I could create a children's book fan club?
I would form The Philippine Newbery Project! (Yes, name totally inspired by the Newbery Project :o).) The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year. Newbery committees also cite other books as worthy of attention, and these books are the Newbery Honor Books. My best friends and I love Newbery books. We've been imagining our very own book club for them!
I would be the president of the Philippines Newbery Project, and Isaac would be the vice president. He helped me conceptualize the project. Thank you, Isaac! So far the other members would be CY and my younger brother Brian (he's also nuts about Newbery books). Membership is open to all Filipino lovers of Newbery books. :o)
What would be the objectives of the group?
1. To read all Newbery Medal winners and Newbery Honor books.
2. To study and discuss all Newbery Medal winners and Newbery Honor books.
3. To use Newbery books to help promote the love of reading among young Filipinos.
We would read a different Newbery book every two weeks and then meet to discuss the book. Members will take turns facilitating meetings. The facilitator of a meeting must be ready with discussion questions and must be ready to share background information on the book and its author. The facilitator is also in charge of making sure the conversation does not stray into other topics. (Who knows what will happen when friends and family get together!)
As much as possible, each meeting will be creative and will try to incorporate an element from the book being discussed. Some examples: The discussion on From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg will be in a museum cafe. And we can go through the museum together after the discussion! We can go to a Japanese restaurant to reflect together on Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. We can catch a baseball game together and eat butterscotch ice cream before talking about Penny from Heaven by Jennifer Holm. For the discussion on Holes by Louis Sachar, we can have a picnic at a nearby lake. The fun possibilities are endless!
We'll have book shopping days together. We'll watch movies inspired by Newbery books. We'll put up a group blog to share our club's experiences and insights with the rest of the world. We'll have lots of parties: parties to celebrate new Newbery books, birthday parties for members, holiday parties - like Halloween parties where we'll dress up as our favorite characters from Newbery books!
We'll also try our very best to give back to our communities. We want to donate Newbery books to schools. We want to visit schools to give booktalks on Newbery books. We want to coordinate with schools to help facilitate students' activities and discussions about Newbery books. We (so far all the members have teaching experience!) also want to provide free teacher training on how teachers can use Newbery books for their reading and writing classes.
Isn't it so nice to dream? :o)