So this OKC blog entry is going to come in two parts, because we did SO much in OKC – school visit, radio interview, bookstore adventure, and film screening…our visit was exhilarating, exciting, and BUSY.
Uniquely to this visit, we had a partner in OKC! The amazing Kirkpatrick Foundation provided accommodations during our visit, along with the beautiful Ambassador Hotel. The Kirkpatrick Foundation also sponsored a screening of Paul’s new film, The Front Man, at the Oklahoma Museum of Art, and best of all, arranged for us to spend the entire morning with The Freedom School in Oklahoma City, The Freedom School is is a six-week literacy program for kids with limited access to enrichment programs. We love the motto of the Freedom School: “Believing in children so they will believe in themselves,” and we LOVED the kids that we met there. Here are some pictures form our visit to the Freedom School – where the students met us with a cheer, sat quietly through a reading, asked amazing and insightful questions, and even convinced me to dance with them at the end of the assembly! (These wonderful photos are courtasy of Wylee Sanderson/Kirkpatrick Foundation).
After the assembly at Freedom School, I did a break-out workshop with the 6th graders. We talked about writing, and goals, and magical creatures, and then we did a writing exercise together. Then Louisa McCune, our host with the Kirkpatrick Foundation, presented each 6th grader with their own copy of “Lost Children of the Far Islands.” How amazing is that? Each graduating 6th grader went home with a signed copy of a book!
I really can’t stress enough how amazing this school visit was for us. To meet such enthusiastic and engaged kids, and to be able to partner with a local foundation was such a great example of community making it happen.
This is becoming a theme on this journey – whether it’s a bookstore that relies on local support even as it supports its community, or a potluck event for a new book, or a foundation reaching out to make sure that books get to kids and kids get to books, it all comes down to engagement, commitment, and community. It’s beautiful to see.
Thank you, Amy Brooks Young, Louisa McCune, the Kirkpatrick Foundation, the Ambassador Hotel, and the kids at OKC Freedom School!
After The Freedom School, we kept going, to a local radio station, the coziest bookstore I’ve ever had the pleasure to hang out in, and a film screening at a gorgeous museum! But that’s another post. Stay tuned….