Like Zeus, Inkreadable Kids was born on the sun drenched island of Crete, at the beginning of my trip. When I conceived the idea to teach creative writing to kids, it was unformed. More of a “maybe I should” rather than an “I am going to”. But the idea didn’t go away. In fact, it started buzzing through my brain like the most annoying of bees flying hither and yon. It caused no end of trouble, on my vacation. Here I was, on vacation, trying to have a good time, and all I started thinking about was how to make the idea a reality. This bee wasn’t dying or getting angry, no matter how much I tried to swat it away. I decided to talk to the closest thing I had to an expert. Was it someone in business, you ask?, A writer, maybe?, Come on, it has to be a teacher, you mutter. No, I had none of those people. I had something better. I had a Madeline. What is a Madeline, you ask? A new robot? A computer? Madeline is none of things. Madeline is a friend, a very good friend, who was doing exactly what I wanted to do. Except she was doing it far away in Accra, Ghana. I contacted Madeline and told her what I wanted to do. True to form, Madeline was nothing but encouraging. And so the round of what ifs began. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, that with time and Madeline’s advice, the idea solidified into a syllabus that revolved around the elements of a short story. It would be a five week course that met once a week for an hour and looked like this:
Week One: Exposition
Week Two: Rising Action
Week Three: Climax
Week Four: Declining Action and The End
Week Five: Publish and Present
Our last class would be where I presented each kid with their story in book form and we invited family to hear the stories read out by the authors. The class was geared to 8-12 year olds because I figured that in order to learn how to write the kids first needed to know how to read.
I wasn’t idle on the business side of things either. So far the checklist was:
Who I’m Teaching: Check
What I’m Teaching: Check
How I’m Teaching: Check
Why I’m Teaching: Check
One problem remained: the where and when. The when was easier than the where. When turned out to be Thursday and Friday afternoons from 4-6 pm. Where was a bit of a challenge, but ended up being easier than I expected. The manager of the community center near my work was willing to give me the space for free. There were A LOT of hoops to jump through: like two security checks, and setting up a limited liability company. Once all of that was done I was the proud owner of Inkreadable, LLC. Now the fun could really begin.