Did you know there are Literary Agents to help Unit Guiders bring Words in Action to their unit? Of course, a Guider’s first step should be to review the Words in Action website for service and activity information. If you run into any challenges or need some guidance, contacting Literary Agents would be the second step. They’ll help you determine the best places to volunteer/send your donations. They can also advise you on how to plan literacy-based activities for your unit and how to connect that to core programming.
Launching the new National Service Project (NSP) Words in Action in Quebec was a really exciting time for the province’s Literary Agents. With 21 districts, more than 1,700 girls and 318 active leaders, we knew we had our work cut out for us to get our 2,000 members partnering with public organizations!
So our Guider Symposium Building Global Citizens was an ideal opportunity to get the word out about Words in Action.
An effective presentation is visual, so props were essential to illustrate the many facets of the NSP. A three-paneled poster board displayed a summary of the five service projects and tie-ins of programming, with images of the badges and crests the girls can earn when combining the challenge with their branch. A literacy backpack brimming with school supplies and a pop-up toy tent filled with a toy carpet and stuffed dolls was used to illustrate the concept of a reading tent. The most important element of the kiosk was for Literary Agents to be on hand to explain the program and how easy it is for the girls to organize events. A strong emphasis was placed on the Literary Agent’s role, that we will be resource people, contacting organizations across the province to find homes for the books and literacy packs girls will collect in their unit, or residences where they can go and read to seniors. It is important for Guiders to leave with something in hand, so we distributed pamphlets with a summary of the program that included all pertinent information including how to connect with us.
Guiders were invited to join the Facebook group Des mots en action / Words In Action-Quebec. This has by far been the most efficient means to interact with the community. It’s an open group, anyone can join, though it is aimed at Guiders and Guiding parents as well as community partners (librarians, teachers, children’s authors). Resources the Literary Agents create are available for download. Status updates include new partners that have connected with the Literary Agents who are eager to accept books, literacy packs or have girls volunteer as readers. Updates also include friendly reminders to log units’ actions taken so that GGC can track our work. We also invited members who are not on Facebook to sign up to be sent more traditional email updates.
Our next steps will be to continue to follow-up with the units across the province and lend Guiders a hand with respect to animating the importance of literacy, not just as an enjoyable means to pass the time by reading. When possible, we will attend unit meetings or district events to lend a hand.
Guest blogger Esther Szeben, a Guider with the Valois Dorval District and a Literary Agent for the NSP in Quebec.
Words in Action is a national opportunity for members across the country to make a difference together. By logging your unit’s actions on the NSP website, we can showcase the collective impact our service is making across Canada.