This week at the FPL

Yesterday was pumpkin carving day at the Front Porch Library. At first no one wanted to put a hand in “all that mess,” but very quickly everyone was up to their elbow in pumpkin guts and having a grand time.

We added 5 new kids to our rolls yesterday and (fortunately) are now getting help from volunteers from Leon High’s Key club–I sure hope they take over the world soon, these teenaged leaders are up to it.

This week at the FPL

It is rhythm day at the Front Porch Library. I’m scrubbing out as many big buckets as I can find to use as improvised drums. Craig is bailing Kary and me out by bringing his sense of rhythm. We’ll make rhythm instruments as well. All praise duct tape, recycled cans and dried beans!

Here’s the video Craig made for us: Music Day at The Front Porch Library

This week at the FPL

We had our monthly program at the Front Porch Library. “Words to Wear.” Each kid came up with some words to live by and put them on a T shirt. They ranged from the courageous, “Stand Tall, Don’t Fall” to the fierce, “Eat Or Be Eaten” to the personal, “Pit bulls, a Gir’ls Best Friend,” to the just plain hard to explain, “Give Or Not Give.” A great time was had by all!

This week at the FPL

It was “Mystery Day” at the Front Porch Library. A “murder cake,” that dripped blood and had a knife sticking our of it was served. But best of all was the scavenger hunt which slipped in a lot of science (What does each of these machines do? What animal did these two skulls come from?) as well as clues that took the form of riddles and logic questions–and of course we threw in a snappy round of dodgeball.

This week at the FPL

I presented to the “Forever Young” group at St. Paul’s Methodist Church. A terrific group, and when I talked about The Front Porch Library they asked what I needed. I plucked up my courage and said money–art supplies, cupcakes and legos cost. Those wonderful, practical people took up a collection. Thank you, thank you one and all!

Cupcakes

This post comes from Adrian’s blog — Slow Dance Journal — about the beginning of The Front Porch Library.

I’ll start this blog about LIFE with something that happens every Sunday around here: cupcakes. Sunday cupcakes are part of my justification for owning two houses, ours and what used to be my Dad’s. These modest homes would be Baltic and Mediterranean Ave. on the Monopoly board—the two cheapest properties. Still, two houses? But when my dad died I didn’t have the heart to sell his place. I needed to be able to walk into his old house and say “Good morning, Dad!”

I thought that if I used the house for the Greater Good I could keep it. So my neighbors and I created The Front Porch Library. I thought it was about putting books into kids’ hands. It turned out to be about all the things that happen when kids, who normally appear as quick flashes as they ride bicycles around the block, walk through your door and you get to know them.

Today the library will be open from 4 to 6 p.m. Although the cupcakes will be the most popular part of library time, I bet I’ll read aloud, and kids will draw on the long roll of fax paper we keep for that purpose, and the girls will get huffy with each other and need to be reminded to “be nice,” and I will closely watch the brother and sister whose father recently died and try to guess how they are doing.

While she is at the library, one of my girl’s homes will be visited by her brother’s parole officer.

A group of three cousins, all neatly dressed, will arrive together. These three come from families that are distressingly poor in both money and education. All three are struggling readers, but good kids.

Sometimes I feel like a starry-eyed do-gooder standing in the wind tunnel of my kids’ difficult lives, holding out a tray of cupcakes. But cupcakes, books, and adult attention are what I have to offer.

And the cupcakes are always good. Going out the door at the end of library hours, A’Miracle will say, “Can I take one of those cupcakes home for my mom? She likes cupcakes.”