This Thursday 826CHI will be celebrating the first
chapbook of 2013, An Elevator with Different Floors, a volume
filled with adventure stories written by After-School Tutoring
This book is dedicated to real human 826CHI heroes, Patrick
Shaffner and Kait Steele, who appear as the valiant protagonists of
most stories in this volume. Local author Patrick Somerville
contributed a thrilling introduction.
In addition to students reading stories they have been
working on throughout January, there will be snacks, drinks, door
prizes, and a raffle.
Learn more on the Facebook
I'm not sure exactly why it happened, but at some point during
my college journalism career my fellow newspaper staffers and I
became obsessed with Billy Crystal. We loved him so much we even
put his picture up in the newsroom and decided he should be named
an honorary editior-in-chief. Obviously the best way to make this
official was to post it on Billy Crystal's
Crystal worked as
editor-in-chief of The BG News from 1969-70.
It took almost two years for that "fact" to be taken down from
the Wikipedia page.
This might be one of my favorite stories from college (wild and
crazy days, I know) and I was more than happy to tell it this
morning to some high school students who believed that Wikipedia
was a legitimate research source. I'd like to think that by
the end of the class they were persuaded otherwise.
After taking a week off from volunteering with 826 due to schedule conflicts, I was
happy to be back at Golder College Prep this morning helping
students with their stories. We started class by introducing a few
new volunteers and having the students ask them interview
questions. We did this our first week at Golder and in under a
month just those introductory interview questions have really
Then we talked a little bit about research. We handed out a
Research-O-Matic worksheet and an awesome chart made by one of the
volunteers about research sources for the students to use.
A big theme so far in my volunteer experience has been "Wow, I'm
old". As in, some students didn't even know what kind of books they
would use as sources if they had to. As in, "Back in my day, we
couldn't even use the Internet for research!" As in, what happened
to hours spent flipping through Encyclopedia pages?
But the Internet is their research avenue and we helped them see
the pros and cons of different websites, blogs and message boards.
After splitting up into four-person groups and talking about
specific research ideas for each story, we headed into some
So far, one-on-one time seems really beneficial. I had a chance
to speak to students separately and figure out if any of their
stories had red flags-Were they having trouble with interviews? Did
the subject seem too broad? Were they losing focus?-before they
continued their interviews and research.
Some of the
stories I mentioned before are still going strong. One student
is still trying to figure out what teachers do after school and on
the weekends. Another is working hard to get to the bottom of the
awkwardness on the CTA. And of course, the story about the candy
store man who doesn't accept crumpled bills or pennies hasn't lost
I'll be back at Golder next Tuesday morning and can't wait to
see what the next round of the students' interviews brings.
Alaina is the digital content editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Chicago.
See more of Alaina's stories here.
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