What Kids Want

Rodriguez Library’s schedule is based around giving the kids the ability to take things home. It started a few months ago, when i realized the reason Perler Beads wer so popular. While I tried to tamper down the kids desire to just puts some beads on the board and iron it down with as little effort as possible, it told… Read more →

Developing Programming for Adults

In a low-income, high-poverty setting, it is a struggle to get adults to come to the library and participate in programming. As far as I can tell, this is a true situation across the nation. Parents in high poverty settings often don’t participate in school functions. A Pew research study also suggested that residents in low socioeconomic status are not… Read more →

Dealing with Discouragement

I want to write about dealing with discouragement as an educator.  I feel this common challenge for those working in the field, and a subject worthy of reflection and discussion.   However, I will begin with a caveat.  I do not have some great insight into dealing with discouragement.  This is not a plug for my upcoming book, 10 Easy Ways… Read more →

What Maker Jawn Could Be

    I left my job with Maker Jawn back in December. On this occasion, I wanted to share some things that I’ve been thinking about as I reflect back on almost three years of working as a mentor and a person who has taken on some administrative roles with the program. First I want to list my hopes and… Read more →

Quantifying Success

Maker Jawn is an unstructured, participant-directed, drop-in program. I am the mentor at Kensington Neighborhood Library. Here’s an average day: I come in at least 30 minutes before programming with a basic idea of an activity I think our makers will enjoy. They typically come to the library as part of their daily routine, once they’re let out of school at 3:00PM.… Read more →

The struggle for quality programming.

Providing a stimulus rich environment is a key to a successful maker space for children (probably for adults as well).   Often children come to Maker Jawn mentally unmotivated.  They are both bored and resistant to stimulation.  A child in this mood will not (in general) initiate a constructive activity for him or herself.  Rather, this mental malaise generally presents itself… Read more →