Using these ideas, we have created new programming in 2017 to engage our community in conversations through children's literature.
The Kindness Project came out of discussions we had here at the shop during and after the November election season. There was so much negativity, intolerance, and divisiveness during that time that we really were concerned about the impact of it all on the children we serve. We decided we wanted to encourage a discussion on kindness, compassion, and empathy within our community of readers as a way to help families consider ways to think and act differently despite this negativity. Each month we focus on a different topic and provide book lists, workshops, and other activities that will help parents and teachers navigate conversations around these topics with children and teens.
Some examples of Kindness Project activities have included:
- Our January story time about the Refugee Experience brought over 40 families to the shop. We worked with publishers to deliver hundreds of books to our very active refugee community.
- We conduct regular, robust story times highlighting picture books filled with diverse peoples and cultures.
- Our Gender Fluidity Workshop helped to create new support systems for parents and their children and teens.
- We held an April Poetry Workshop for kids to understand themselves and others through poetry.
- We've raised $130 in donations for shipping books to military families all over the US. That's like 16 or 17 boxes of books!
We're a bookstore, and we believe in the power of stories, and sharing those stories. We're not looking to do what non-profits do, or what other, better equipped or already established forms of outreach are doing. Instead, we are looking to initiate thoughtful action in ourselves and others through sharing one another's stories.
To learn more about Little Shop of Stories and their 2017 programming, visit their website.
Have a great example of how you make a difference in your community? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter to enter our #BeDangerous sweepstakes!