May 18, 2001

To Whom It May Concern:

For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of offering Mighty Action Racket Theatre Workshops to the children who frequent my public library located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side/Alphabet City. While considered an “at risk” population, the children who use this Library often are inspired to further research subjects of interest due to the programs provided. I must admit that, after 15 years of library work, I almost fell off my chair when a child requested a book on “tableau vivant,” a theater exercise explored during one of the four session workshops led by Ms. Joanie Fritz Zosike and Ms. Lois Kagan Mingus.

Mighty Action Racket Workshops can be limited to one session or extended through a period of four weeks. While both have had great success at The Hamilton Fish Park Branch, I was quite surprised to observe the sustained interest of kids and their siblings participating in the 4-session series during the deep summer. Not only were children, ages 5-12, encouraged to participate,
their elder siblings responsible for their care during the day willingly joined in. Ms. Kagan Mingus and Ms. Fritz Zosike displayed great flexibility incorporating different family members at each weekly meeting.

Another feature of the Mighty Action Workshops that I would like to praise is its literary component. Kids plan, write, revise, rehearse and act out their own “plays” in the workshops employing academic skills without thinking of the theater exercises as homework. Former participants, who have now graduated into the Young Adult section of the Library, continue to request these programs, asking for its leaders by name.

I would also like to record that I practice what I preach/write. The Office of Children’s Services of The New York Public Library has approved another four week session of Mighty Action Racket scheduled for this summer, 2001. In addition, I’ve booked Mighty Story Action Time and a Mighty Action Racket Theatre Workshop for younger kids, ages 4-7, for this upcoming summer.

Sincerely Yours,
Jayne A. Pierce
Supervising Branch/Children’s Librarian