I have had MANY questions as to why I cannot attend the Bingo for Books event, and I felt it was appropriate to reveal the reasons for it, so no one thought I was just flaking out on the event, or not caring about following through.
So here is a brief synopsis, I have been directed not to appear at the community event sponsored by a grant by the Washington Education Association – Chinook region to promote literacy and youth appreciation of literature. It is “inappropriate” to have me make available something for sale during the event, or to even give items to the attendees because that might be construed to be a sales pitch. (like hundreds of bookmarks I purchased and was going to give away to attendees) But, I could “sell it out of the back of your car.”
I agreed to do this event as a measure of support for youth literacy, the greater school community, and for my colleague. My mistaken idea was that it was a win/win for the event to have an author present, donating signed copies of his work to raffle off, and making some books available for sale and signing. But more than that, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to show the members of our community, pre-middle school age, middle school age, young adult age, and parents that if you have a dream or goal, if you work hard at it and don’t give up, you can achieve your dreams. I had also worked hard at bringing in some outside authors to join me in an author’s corner, but ultimately had to inform them they could not be there.
Now I can only say that the decision that was made has helped galvanize my belief that my time as an educator is drawing nearer to a close. I am saddened for the people who will miss out on seeing me in my author setting. I am saddened for the school missing the opportunity to make the event bigger. I am saddened for my colleague who worked so hard to make it all work and now faces a prospect of a future without the support of the WEA for this event and the very real possibility that because of the lack of diversification and sponsorship this annual event may also be going away. Losing Bingo for Books is not a good option, I was willing to invest my time and energy and bring the literature world in to support youth literacy.
It has turned from a win/win, to a lose/lose… and that is really sad.