Literature is often used as an escape route, a way to enter another world and leave the present. It can be an adventure; a way to discover new worlds. Or it can be a distraction from deeper problems. For me, it was a little of both. Literature allowed me to leave the present and explore places I could never imagine. It aided me in escaping from the inadequate life I was living. After my grandfather died, I was left with two addiction riddled parents and a passion for reading. This lead me to the Kansas City Public Library. My secret place where all the bad could never touch me. First, I was just a bothersome pre-teen, making too much noise in the Teen Section. Soon, my love of literature took me to a completely new place
I don’t really remember when I discovered the library, but I remember the moment it turned my life around. I was offered a position as a volunteer. I could hang out at the library all day and not be kicked out, which meant that I didn’t have to go home. I quickly accepted. From this, I learned how to deal with customers, I learned how to be kind to rowdy children, and how to lead a group. But most importantly, I learned there was more to life than poverty, abuse, and regret. The library provided an escape route, but it also created a place for me to feel at home.
As a Pages & Chapters intern, I want to help expand this program so children can feel the warmth of a book; so they are able to escape, if only for a little while, and imagine a place bigger than them. One of my favorite parts of being an intern for Pages & Chapters is being able to partner with Kauffman Scholars in order to host a book drive for Books on the Move, a bi-annual book giveaway. What I like so much about collecting books is watching the community react to such a small request. So many people gather and provide unbelievable support for this great cause! It is truly incredible to watch. I also like knowing that people are getting their hands on literature and they can begin to expand their world. Literature has been such a monumental part of who I am, I want to help people gain access to as much literature as possible.
Although my time at Pages & Chapters is coming to a close and it was by no means long enough, I will take with me the compassion, understanding, and patience I learned. I will continue to apply these traits to my life and use them to help spread literacy throughout Kansas City and more. Thank you for this incredible experience!