Children’s Literary Salon Video #1: REFORMA, Refugee Children, and Bringing Books to the Border
As you may recall, this past Saturday, January 9th I hosted my first Literary Salon here in Evanston. In spite of the fact that some of my attendees were at ALA while others stayed home to avoid the heavy snowfall, we had a showing of around 40-45 people. The topic? Refugee children held at America’s border. Or, as the description read:
“Bringing Books to the Border: Jeff Garrett and the Refugee Children of the Rio Grande Valley”
When 70,000 children crossed the southern border into the United States it sparked a humanitarian crisis. And until July of 2014 the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Department was unable accept donations of kids books to these children. When that changed, local bookstore owner Jeff Garrett of Bookends and Beginnings worked as part of REFORMA’s Children in Crisis Project, to help bring children’s books to the unaccompanied refugee children currently arriving in the Rio Grande Valley. Speaking about his experiences, Jeff touches on many of the issues surrounding the border today and what we can learn from those who are working with refugee children every day.
For the first time, I was able to livestream the event. For the most part, it worked. It was not without its glitches, of course. The PowerPoint is difficult to make out, I believe, because I was at an angle and not facing it directly. Also, I should have asked Jeff to repeat some of the questions he received since they were hard to hear on the video.
But all that aside, this is a remarkable talk. Jeff clears up misconceptions, clarifies points, and really shines a spotlight on the amazing work that REFORMA is doing these days. For anyone who believes in the importance of getting books into the hands of children, this is essential watching. Enjoy.
Filed under: Videos
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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