One of my favorite things about sharing pieces of our story, whether it be our adoption story or social justice issues is the ability to make school visits. I’ve spoken to dozens of elementary schools in the past few years and it remains a highlight of my writing career.
Kids are so honest. Pieces of a story or a situation stick in their brains and repeats on rapid fire until they are allowed to ask questions. I’ve learned if I don’t want kids to ask the most honest, random of questions, I’d better not open up the floor for a Q & A session.
My first children’s book is called I Walk For Water, the story of an African boy who must search daily for water for his family. The book includes discussion questions in the back about the reader’s access and knowledge about the world water crisis. When I’m presenting the book and the material, I tell the story of meeting the boy in Africa I eventually wrote the book about, which came at the end of the finalization of my husband and I’s adoption trip to Ethiopia for our two children.
Giving the main character a face and a story is a great way to connect the kids I’m presenting to have a child close to their age, but of a varied background from their own. This can provide some amazing questions and suggestions from the kids during Q &A about how they want to get involved. It can also invoke some quirky questions like only elementary students can ask.
My three personal favorites over the years have been:
How old are you?
How long does it take to get from Oklahoma to Washington DC?
How long does it take to get from Oklahoma to Washington DC if you rode a bike?
Truthfully, I love all of these questions and I actually looked up for the 3rd grader how long it takes to ride a bike from Oklahoma City from Washington DC. It’s 19 hours and 44 minutes in case you were about to look it up.
The best thing about children is their ability to see their world and the world of others as the same.
If a problem is presented to them, they search out an answer. I believe it is one of the reasons Jesus said that’s how we are to enter His kingdom: as children. Children get that and they have a lot of fun doing it. Just remember, if you are presenting in front of a group of them, be prepared for anything.