Our Work at Hikone Gets Bigger, Bigger, Up Up and Awayyyy

October 17, 2008 | 826 Blog Post

Thanks for dropping by! We’ll make it worth your while; listen to this:

Those of you new to 826michigan might not have heard of our cutest program. For the last couple of years, we have been bringing Colby, a trained service dog, into Hikone Community Center. Why, you ask? Good question. Because when students read to a sweet pooch, they don’t get nervous or feel judged the way they might when reading to their peers or adults. And sure, it’s amazingly adorable to watch. More importantly, though: books are getting read. Students are learning to enjoy reading aloud. Skills are improving. And, in the case of this writer, who is also Colby’s handler, hearts are melting. Sure, I used to get jealous when I would walk into Hikone to shouts of “Colby! Colby! COLBY!!!” and then, “Hi Amy,” almost as an afterthought, really. But I see the bond that is developing between these students and this dog, and well, it’s something else.

You might also know that, in addition to providing a writing component to the summer writing camps of all four of Community Action Network’s sites (of which Hikone is one), we also had been doing a weekly writing workshop for girls at Hikone. But then show-stopper volunteers Rosie and Elyse moved on, and, you know, went to medical school and stuff. (We still miss you both!) We were inconsolable until: enter new superstars from the volunteer class of Fall 08. We are excited to announce that new 826ers Kat O (we have more than a handful of K/Cats now), Megan L (a couple of those too), and Justin (just the one) will get this program back up and running next week.

AND we’re starting something new there in the next few weeks. Are you sitting? You probably are. I don’t know many people who read stuff on the internet from a standing position. At any rate, our second Canadian intern, Connor, is joining one of our most beloved store staff (if you have seen R2D-Stool or the Make-Your-Own-Button Station, you are familiar with his work), Tyler, to start a Comic Book Club at Hikone. Add it to the list of programs that inspires I-Wanna-Come-Too reactions in adults. This club will read and discuss comics, and even create their own!

Now go outside and enjoy this gorgeous fall weather! What a wonderful time to live in Michigan.

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