Igniting the Spark: Library Programs That Inspire High School Patrons

By Roger Leslie; Patricia Potter Wilson | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Final Stages of
Program Planning
With my focus and target audience determined, I started creating a plan for
developing my program, “The Hero in You.” To reach students from two
very divergent groups, European history and special reading classes, I kept
my focus rather general. At first I was concerned. Was I casting my teach-
ing net too broadly and thus losing effectiveness? But the disparate audi-
ences resulted In a generic approach that, I discovered in later years, could
be modified to reach many different student populations.Browsing through the resources that I’d gathered on the topic, I no-
ticed several attractive, recently published books on the legends of King
Arthur. While reading, I looked up and noticed that I have all round tables In
my library media center. The Idea of hosting a medieval event sounded fun,
but ultimately unmanageable. However, because I was targeting mostly
history students as my audience, I thought, “Why not do the program as a
timeline?” I could divide the library Into sections, covering heroes from dif-
ferent periods in history, culminating in the personalized hero of today.After much legwork and further modification of ideas, my program
took shape. In each section, I would highlight one hero who excelled In a fo-
rum different from all the others:
1. Section one: Crusaders. Joan of Arc was my main focus, be-
cause she linked early history, religion, and women.
2. Section two: Visionaries. From literature, Don Quixote served as
a Spanish role model. (My school population was 75 percent His-
panic, with nearly every student In the special reading class an
ESL student with little English proficiency.)
3. Section three: Risk-takers. Nineteenth-century freedom fighter
Harriet Tubman was my prime example.

-41-

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