Jared Felkins: This week reminds there’s a little imagination left in us all

A cross section of society gathered on a brightly colored mat, almost as bright and colorful as the children who sat on it.
Sep 20, 2013
(Kristen Sisco • Special to The Democrat) Jared Felkins shows a copy of The Lebanon Democrat and Wilson County News to a pre-kindergarten class Monday at Coles Ferry Elementary School as he tries to explain what he does at work.
Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins.

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”

— Henry David Thoreau 

A cross section of society gathered on a brightly colored mat, almost as bright and colorful as the children who sat on it. 

Most of them had something to say, while a few said nothing at all. Some smiled, others were excited, still others weren’t all that impressed. Such is the case in an attempt to command the attention of an audience. 

Their faces showed innocence. They wore their imagination on their sleeves. 

After all, that’s what this week is about. 

“Kid, you’ll go places,” Dr. Seuss wrote, and it was retold from an adult who still has a little child left inside him. 

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” is a favorite. It transcends generations from 100 all the way down to the 4 year olds gathered on their respective reading mats at Castle Heights and Coles Ferry elementary schools earlier this week. 

But it certainly wasn’t traditional. This deliverer of reading fun needed some help if he wanted to captivate the attention of 18 pre-kindergarteners at a time. 

At the first reading engagement at Coles Ferry Elementary School, our reader thought quick and used a little leftover money in his iTunes account to add the book to his iPad. Armed with both tradition and technology, our faithful reader set out to tame the ferocious group. 

But that was no easy task. Someone once said, “Everyone in the room is impressed by the lion tamer in the cage with six lions, everyone except for the kindergarten teacher. 

It takes a special person. Kristen Sisco and Shannon Judd, who met this reader with a smile this week, are special people. I’m not too sure even a dozen lions and an emu in a cage with a lion tamer would impress these young spirits. 

Those inquiring pre-kindergarteners wanted to know…everything. And what person in their right mind would want to hinder that? 

Questions were answered in the best explanation one could give where a 4-year-old’s mind could process it. 

The book was read, all the high-definition illustrations were oohed and aahed over and just as quickly as it began, it was time to leave. 

But not before a big group hug. 

Before all those parents out there get up in arms about 18 pairs of little embracing arms, it should be noted it was one hug that started the chain reaction. And it didn’t start with our reader. 

A bright-eyed young man in the front stood up and initiated the contact. Before anyone knew it, everyone joined in. Hugs, you know, really are contagious. 

At Castle Heights Elementary School on Wednesday, still another young man was quick to let the group know when the scary parts of the story were upon us. That signaled a blonde-haired, blue-eyed young lady in the corner to give a big, “Ooooooohh.”

Yes, adults read to children this week. After all, it was Imagination Library Week. This reader can’t speak for the lot of them, but sufficed to say those infinite imaginations didn’t need much of a kick start. 

It’s encouraging, to say the least. 

If this in any way has inspired anyone, there’s still time left in this imagination-filled week. Grab a child, a book and get to it. Let’s all create and bring out more imagination than a week, month or even a year can hold. 

After all, this world could always use a little more imagination. 

Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins

 

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