Last Night, Things Came Together, As Things Seem To Do Here, And, As Usual, In a Way That Seemed Surprising

February 23, 2006 | 826 Blog Post

For the sake of organization, we’ll do this chronologically. Last night was the grand finale of Ryan’s “The Story That Grew Up to be a Book!” workshop, where we presented twelve students with handily crafted book versions of the stories they’ve been working on for the last month. Parents and siblings gathered for a reading of stories about the life of a fish, a hyperactive grandmother, a ghost, an injured dog, a golden horseshoe, fighting for freedom, a trip to Chicago, abused eardrums, a slave, a figure skater, a cat named Marybelle, and a green Jelly Man. It was, for lack of a better word, awesome.

Without getting too mushy, I would just like to say that it has been a great pleasure getting to know all the kids involved in this workshop, and I can speak for both Ryan and myself when I say that their stories exceeded every expectation and hope we had going into this.

826 alum/superstar Aja reads “The House on Cherry Street” in which a character, also named Aja, suffers repeated eardrum damage.

The gang poses with their books. You may recognize that charmingly handsome man on the floor as Ryan, our superintern.

After this, I thought, Can it get any better? Friends, it can, and often, it does. After tidying up after the workshop, Erin, John, and I raced off to Haisley Elementary where the fundraising dinner for Suddenly My Heart Stopped for Just a Small Portion of Time: Defining Moments was already underway. You can only imagine my surprise when I saw that the multipurpose room Valerie and I had set up earlier for thirty people was stuffed with seventy people! Second student reading of the night, this time I was treated to tales of a sad Cuban grandfather, a sick goldendoodle puppy, a heart attack, coming into America from Mexico, and a foster family. The applause was thunderous.

Does this “thanking people” business get old in the blog-world? I hope not. It certainly doesn’t to me. Many more thanks to Valerie and Stella, and the students at Haisley and Greenhills. You guys amaze me!

The group listens to Leah read about her secret identity.

Don’t be fooled by their smiling faces, Jose’s incredibly moving story also brought some audience members to tears.

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