Last night had to be marked down as one of my best days ever. Of course my wedding and the birth of my children top that list, but last night was so wonderful that it is pretty high on the list.
I have been holding a class at the public library since June. I wanted to teach kids computer skills, but do it in a creative and fun way. After seeing Iron Man earlier in the summer, I came up with the perfect idea! I would have a comic book class. I would have the kids use the computers to create comics (and other small projects) while learning valuable computer skills. It was a total volunteer type thing. The kids weren't signed up for the class and they weren't forced into it by their parents, it was totally on their part to decide to come and stick with the class. My job was to not only teach them computer skills, but to keep them in the class and coming back. It was a tough challenge, as I was competing against other fun summer activities such as swimming, hanging with friends, myspace, wii, etc. Well I DID it!! I originally was holding the class 2 days a week, and teaching different "lessons" on each day. Well I had such a huge turnout of kids that I finally had the split the class and make it the same lesson on both nights so more kids could attend. It is such an indescribable feeling when you know you have captivated children and have triumphed over other things such as gaming systems and the internet.
So I've been holding the the class for about 2 months now. The kids created superheros, trading cards, manipulated pictures, changed their picture into a comic, and wrote and illustrated their very own comic book - all on the computer. They worked super hard and I was so very proud of them. Last night we celebrated their accomplishments with a comic book release party. It was fabulous!! I showed a movie I made of the kids working hard and their finished projects. Then I presented them with the completed comic they wrote. Most of the kids were low SES, and several had mentioned that they didn't have school supplies for the upcoming year. I solicited donations from my school, friends, family and area businesses. I was able to get each kids a backpack filled with most of the items on their supply list. What made it the best day ever? Their faces when they got their completed comic books and backpacks. Their eyes were huge and their smiles even bigger. They were so happy!! What an amazing feeling!! I know I made a difference in these children - some have told me they want to write books when they grow up others want to work with computers; and one even wants to write comics! From this class I know that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be and doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing - I'm a teacher!!
Just as I think it can't get any better. The coordinator over the youth services of all of the libraries here, wants to take my class and host it at other locations. He also wants me to be involved in a new program that they just received a grant for which will involve taking laptops around and working with kids! I love it and I'm so excited for the future opportunities! So yesterday was the BEST DAY EVER!!!