Wednesday, July 02, 2014


There was much clamoring on facebook for video of my "Remarks" at the AASL awards ceremony.  There is no video, which I am thankful for.  :)  I was nervous enough!

Here's a copy of my draft.  Imagine the speech being roughly like this-a little too fast, and wobbly at the end.
Thank you, Carmela

 In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Grandpa Joe says to Charlie-“I’ve heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true.”

 Thank you to Penguin Random House for sponsoring this award.  In our tiny library, $5000 is more than twice my budget, and will make a huge difference to our students.

 Thank you to  AASL for creating this award. It inspired me to do a little more, to connect with teachers and students, and to reach out into the world beyond the wheat fields of Kansas.  What marvelous ripples have come from the pebble you dropped into the water!

 One of the great joys of this project was watching my students imaginations ignite.  It is not possible to read Charlie without feeling the cold, and the hunger, or seeing the magical world of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory in your minds eye.  Capturing this momentum, the students could picture a cold prison floor in the Andes, and were thrilled to be able, with their own hands, to improve the conditions for those children. 

I was surprised to see how many of our students “tried out” the blankets when they were done.  They wrapped up, they laid them on the floor to see how they would look, and they hugged them to their faces.  Imagination feeds the heart, which hungers for action.  Thank you for the opportunity to discover this with my students.

 Roald Dahl knew this, I think.  He created worlds that we all love to enter, with vivid imagery and lovely vocabulary. His books inspire us to think about justice.  How should adults treat children?   How should children treat one another?  He doesn’t dance around the issues of poverty, or violence, or neglect, but lays it out for us to look at, and invites us to consider the choices and possibilities in our own lives.

 I imagine that every time a student reads a good book, it shapes them into the people they are meant to be.  I imagine that we have the unique gift of helping them to find those books.  I imagine that every day we can change the world.  And Grandpa Joe says that what we imagine sometimes comes true. 


Melanie said...

So proud of you, Betsy! It's inspiring how you tied the project together, and so fun that it includes the work Sheree is doing! Great remarks, I love what you said about good books shaping kids into who they are supposed to be. Have fun using your prize money to fill that library with good books!

Jeanette said...

Beautiful remarks! I was bragging about you to the Children's librarian yesterday--that and Matthew's selfie with Mo. love you.

Steven317 said...

Great connection between imaginative literature and the imagination required to experience empathy and set out to take charitable actions!

Could not have been better put.

Margaret Reese said...

Wow, it is hard to believe that you haven't always been a librarian. I guess that anyone who appreciates great literature is a librarian at heart. Plymell kids are so fortunate. Proud of you.