Yesterday afternoon, more than 100 children, parents and caregivers gathered at the Maplewood Library for a Raising Our Voices to write postcards to children who are still incarcerated and separated from their parents. The love and compassion and seriousness of purpose in that room, from the littlest kids to grandparents, gave us tremendous hope.
One mom wrote afterwards: “I firmly believe in resistance through art and that little actions can make a big impact. This campaign is a shining example of those ideas in action! It has opened a door to have difficult but necessary conversations with my children and empowered them to know that they can make a difference. Thank you!”
If you would like to hold a gathering in your library, here are some tips from our amazing Children’s Librarian, Jane Folger:
- Speak with your administrators to make sure they are on board & support the program
- Think about your organizational mission. In our particular circumstance we are a public library, so our programs and services appeal to a very diverse audience across a broad political spectrum.
- PR is important. We are posting the event on our social media sites, and sending jpgs and png files to other community organizations, as well as to local news media.
- For a postcard party like ours, we want it to be social and inviting for kids and teens. Snacks, lots of writing implements, and a good supply of postcards printed out.
- Some parents have not told their younger children about kids being separated from their parents. Make sure your wording is sensitive to this: such as “write to other kids who need a friend.”
Have fun! It’s a community event which will bring people together and allow them to do something, rather than feel helpless.