Books are a dime a dozen. They teach you. They inspire you. They make you laugh and cry. Books are your best friend when you need one. Books never let you down.
Books has always been part of my life when I needed them to be. Books kept me alive during dark periods in my life. Books changed me in ways I never expected and I want to bring part of my life to help my community.
The kids in my community have been in a bad way for sometime. Many of the children's parents are in the military. They haven't seen their parents in a long time. I feel like how they feel because my husband is in the military and this time of the year families are supposed to be together but sadly this is not the case.
So, this project I want to do at the local library is going to lift the spirits of the kids and take them on a once in a lifetime journey. I call this project Books are forever and is going to take place throughout the Christmas season and beyond.
I pitch my idea to the town librarian and she likes it. Mrs. Anderson gives me the large space in the back of the library. I love it. It's just what I need. I begin to decorate the space with my books. I put up Christmas decorations and other decorations. This space is starting to look beautiful.
Next thing I do is to make copies of the flyer I made telling all about Books are forever. I hand some to Mrs. Anderson. Then I go around the town putting up the flyers on store fronts, in the local schools and home to home putting the flyers inside the mailboxes.
"Doing more good Jamie?"
I smile at Mr. Peters. "I never stop doing good Mr. Peters."
I'm known throughout town for doing acts of kindness. I set up food drives for the homeless, toy drives for the kids at the children's hospital. I set up the clean parks initiative to help clean and rebuild our parks. The arts and music center I set up for adults and kids who love creative things and the recreational center for kids and adults who love sports.
It's in my blood to help those who need help. When people ask me what do I want in return for doing these acts of kindness. I simply tell them, I want nothing in return.
My community with everything I've been doing for them have slowly come out of their shadow, now another group of kids needs my magic, military kids and their families. Tomorrow is the first day of Books are forever at the library.
I arrive early at the library. Mrs. Anderson is waiting for me. "Are you ready for today my dear?" I nod. I head to the back of the library, put some refreshments on the table for the kids and their parents and ready my first book.
The book I pick is a holiday adventure book. Kids love Christmas, they are adventurous and curious by nature. So this book is perfect for them. The time is almost here for the kids to arrive.
I check my watch and it's time. The doors to the library open. The kids and their parents begin to arrive. I wave to them. Some of the kids have big smiles on their faces, while others don't. Wow such a big turnout.
The kids begin to quiet down as I begin to speak. "Welcome all to the first in what I hope would continue to be our annual Books are forever story time. What I want is to bring my love of books to the kids in the community especially to those kids that are missing their parents. My first story I am going to read is called Ellie's Christmas Adventure. Are you all ready?"
The kids yell yes. Here I go. "In a charming town where Christmas takes center stage, there lived a young girl name Ellie. Ellie loves Christmas so much that she wants to make this Christmas unforgettable. Ellie begins to think of ways to make this Christmas unforgettable until she comes up with and idea. Ellie's idea to make this Christmas the most special, unforgettable Christmas is to find Santa's village.
Hidden inside the town library is a secret map detailing the location of Santa's village. Late on a snowy evening Ellie sneaks out of her house and heads to the library. Ellie takes the key she took from her mother and opens the library. Ellie walks in. She goes to the back room where the secret map is located. Ellie grabs the map and quickly leaves the library. Ellie returns home, goes to her bedroom, looks over the map and makes preparations for her adventure to Santa's village.
The next day during the Christmas Eve festivities, Ellie leaves her home with the map, warm clothes, flash light and food. She begins her journey to Santa's village on the rough mountain terrain that encompasses her small town. Ellie treks up the mountain and over the pass. Ellie turns around and sees the tiny speck that is her town.
Ellie says to herself, this is unbelievable. She turns around and continues on her adventure. Ellie looks at the map, the map is telling her to continue on the path she is going on.
Light snowfall is beginning to come down. Ellie keeps on going until she comes upon a bridge. Ellie touches the bridge. Sparks begin to engulf Ellie. She smiles and crosses the bridge. Swirls of lights follow Ellie until she reaches the end, then the lights disappear.
Ellie looks at the map once again. The map is telling Ellie to go inside the cave. She goes inside the cave, it's pitch dark. Ellie takes out her flash light and turns it on. She follows the path of rocks leading to the end of the cave.
Once their Ellie doesn't see a way out. She doesn't want to turn back so Ellie begins to touch the stones. She moves from one end to the other and back to the middle. All of a sudden Ellie falls into the stone of rocks.
Ellie falls and falls and falls until she stumbles out of the stone of rocks and lands in a winter wonderland. Ellie looks around and sees Christmas trees along the path, lights strung brightly around the trees, tiny houses in the background.
Ellie hears giggles in the distant. She walks along the path until she comes upon a group of tiny people people with pointy ears and festive clothing. Oh My God! elves, Ellie says. With a smile on her face Ellie waves to the elves. Tinka comes up to Ellie, grabs her hand and brings her to the other elves.
Ellie, Tinka and the elves play. They through snow at each other and make snow angels. Ellie giggles when the elves dance around her.
Tinka grabs Ellie's hand and together they go through the village and come upon a house filled with lights and trees. Ellie through the window sees a man with a white beard, rosy cheeks and a rotund belly.
Ellie jumps up and down with excitement. It's Santa she squeals. Tinka leads Ellie into Santa's house. Ellie my dear, Santa says, come in. You have my village. Ellie star struck doesn't know what to say.
Come with me my dear. Ellie follows Santa down a narrow pathway and into toy land. Many elves are busy making toys. Tinka the elf takes Ellie and sits her down to make toys.
For the next couple hours Ellie makes toys with the other elves. She makes toy cars, trucks, houses and dolls. Ellie and the elves happily sing Christmas songs and eat cookies.
It's half an hour before the midnight hour when the elves begin to pack the toys. At ten to the hour the elves leave toy land and head outside. Ellie follows.
Ellie sees the elves preparing Santa's sleigh. The toys are in the bag, the reindeer are ready. All that is needed is the big guy himself.
Santa comes out of his home followed by Mrs. Claus greeting the elves. Santa gets into his sleigh and motions for Ellie to come and join him. Ellie excitedly hops into Santa's sleigh.
Up, up, up and away they go, over the mountains and into Ellie's town. Ellie takes it all in and within minutes Santa stops on the roof top of Ellie's house.
Merry Christmas Ellie, with a poof of Christmas magic Ellie is transport to her room. She goes to the window and watches Santa take off into the Christmas night. Ellie jumps into bed and falls asleep.
The next morning Ellie wakes up, runs downstairs and sees the many presents Santa has left her. She quickly opens all the presents loving every one of them."
"Boys and girls this concludes Ellie's Christmas Adventure."
I watch the faces of the boys and girls even the ones who weren't smiling in the beginning. Their faces are now filled with joy and happiness.
Reading this amazing story to my community has changed these young kids even their parents. I can see it in their faces how impactful this book was to them and I hope they will continue to read more incredible books.
The lasting impact of Books are forever will continue to have an impact in my community for years to come. The kids are already talking about the next book. This makes me smile.