Project has Lothrop CLC writers fully booked

Damion Sayers boosts Lothrop CLC student literacy through the power of imagination – and a project that will result in a student-published book.

by
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

If you could be anything in the world, what you would be? And why?

Those two questions, to the room full of third-graders, at first prompted a few ponderous head-scratches. Some youngsters squinted at the ceiling. Others rubbed their chins and looked down at their notebooks. But before too long, they put their imaginations – and their pencils – to work.

A wizard. A superhero. A pilot. A rap artist. An actress. A millionaire. Once the young scribes at Civic Nebraska’s Lothrop after-school Community Learning Center got rolling, there was no end to the creative flow.

“Now, don’t forget,” Damion Sayers said over the rising classroom buzz, each of the dozen students under his watchful eye. “The second question. That’s to tell me more about it. Tell me why.”

Active minds and newly sharpened pencils got going again. Soon, pages were filling up with a whole new range of contemplations. After an hour of imagining and writing – plus drawings complementing their words – the students proudly handed Sayers their notebooks, satisfied with the first entries in what by the end of May will be a bound and printed chronicle of their vision.

“Writing can be hard,” third-grader Ronall, 9, said. “But it’s fun.”

Sayers, who owns and operates the neighborhood barbershop Transitions, is a regular contributor to the Lothrop CLC. A childhood literacy advocate, he and others have created the North Omaha Barbershop Books project. Owners stock their shops with children’s books so that when kids or their families come in for a cut, they can open one up to read – or even take a book home if they like.

Sayers said literacy is more than reading, however. That’s why the Visionary Book Writing Project puts Lothrop students in the role of writers – and importantly, of picturing themselves doing big things. Third-graders write each month about a different aspirational topic with themselves at the center of the story.

For example, in March students will imagine themselves as a leader – first as their school’s principal, and then president of the United States. 

Near the school year’s end, their collected works will appear in a volume they can share with friends, family, and their community, Sayers said.

“It’s a great way to show kids that they can be published authors, and to show them the process from putting their thoughts down all the way to holding the book in their hands,” Sayers said. “It also gets them thinking about their own experiences and how to use their words to express themselves.”

Parents and family members are encouraged to participate. In April, students will build displays featuring images from magazines, newspaper clippings, and photos of themselves to illustrate how they see their future – or even their present.

“We love to see our students thinking critically about their role in the world, and imagining how they can act to create positive change,” said Equasha Smith-Gooch, Civic Nebraska’s Lothrop CLC site director. “I’m grateful to Damion for being a great connection between the school, the CLC, and the community.

“We’re all excited to see how it will turn out.”

Learn more about our after-school programs in Lincoln and Omaha.

Related Articles

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Locations

  • Lincoln
    1111 Lincoln Mall Suite 350, Lincoln NE 68508
    402.904.5191
  • Omaha
    6400 University Drive, N CEC 117.12, Omaha NE 68182-0708
    402.554.3584
  • Greater Nebraska
    203 N. Locust St., Grand Island NE 68801
    308@civicnebraska.org
  • Contact Us

After School Programs

  • Sherman Elementary School

    5618 N 14th Ave.
    Omaha, NE 68110
    402.457.6711

  • Lewis and Clark Middle School

    6901 Burt St.
    Omaha, NE 68132
    402.557.4300

  • Lothrop Elementary School

    3300 N. 22nd St.
    Omaha, NE 68110
    402.457.5704

  • Campbell Elementary School

    2200 Dodge St.
    Lincoln, NE 68521
    402.304.1165

  • Lincoln High School

    2229 J St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510
    402.436.1301

  • Lincoln Northeast High School

    2635 N. 63rd St.
    Lincoln, NE 68507
    402.436.1303

  • Randolph Elementary School

    1024 S. 37th St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510
    402.436.1163

  • Raymond Central Elementary Schools

    Valparaiso and Ceresco
    Coming Fall 2020

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x