Harlem Girls LitClub: Learning to Show Your Heart

"This past week in LitClub, we completed a heart maps with the 4th and 5th grade girls. Typically, you fill a heart map with your roles in the world, however, this time we wrote down roles we hope to have in the future. For example, I put that I want to be a graduate school degree holder. (Is there a simpler way to say this?) During this session, I sat next to a girl named Christen, an intelligent and incisive member, who can get squirmy during the longer stretches of LitClub and her restlessness can sometimes verge on disruption.

After completing our heart maps, Christen and I shared the roles we hope to inhabit in the future. Among other things, she wants to be a gymnast, and a recipient of good grades. I explained to her that since my grandmother had recently fallen ill and entered the hospital, I want to be a granddaughter. Immediately, she sympathized with furrowed eyebrows and a slight frown. “I’m sorry about your grandma,” she told me as she reached over for a hug. “I hope she gets better.” Having someone who is often silly and jocular express such genuine, heartfelt support held such meaning."

--Susannah Rosenfield, LitWorld Intern