A Children’s Inauguration of President Barack Obama.
It has come to the attention of many that with the election of Barack Obama, we are facing a very interesting White House situation: Mainly that there are kids there. Kids! Plural! In the White House! It’s been a long time since we could say that, and this means we’ve an opportunity here. An opportunity in terms of the upcoming inauguration.
Credit children’s author Fran Manushkin with coming up with the idea. Consider this: A Children’s Inauguration. You would pair it alongside that of the adult persuasion and it could be a great way to promote reading, programs that support literacy, and other topics near and dear to our hearts.
Of course there are some limitations. Amy Nathan wrote me to say (quite rightly) that : "I read yesterday that there are no more hotel rooms available in DC for the Jan. 20 time period. But the kid’s inauguration could be done with school kids from DC, Maryland and Virginia — and also any kids that are lucky enough to be coming to the festivities already." Precisely. There will be swarms of children there. Swarms of them hanging about this historic event. Why not cater to these swarms? Give ’em a little bang for their books?
Fran Manushkin suggested programs like CHILDREN WHO MADE HISTORY or A PROGRAM showing how parents can read to their kids!
Amy suggested, "Children’s book authors — through PEN and the Author’s Guild — could donate books that could then be sent to schools-in-need around the country. These books could have an official bookplate in them saying that they were donated as part of the children’s inauguration of President Barack Obama. Children attending could be encouraged to bring a book to donate as well, to be part of the book donation too."
This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. With such little time there’s only so much that could be planned but why not go wild? What activities would you suggest for such an event?
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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