Join us in reading The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba for our first ever countywide read!
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a true story of a young boy who helped a village in Malawi facing extreme drought by constructing a windmill to generate electricity and pump water after seeing an example in a book in his local library. He taught himself the science and engineering behind the device and made his first windmill with spare parts scavenged from his neighborhood. Our goal is to spark conversations about issues of importance to members of our community–on education, on climate change, and on our connection to the larger world and our shared humanity, and on how individuals can make a difference.
There are several editions of this book, including a picture book for young children, a book for young readers, and a book for young adults and adults, making it appropriate for every reading level. Additionally, there will be screenings at different member libraries of the book’s subsequent documentary feature William and the Wind (2013) and Netflix film, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019). This way, everyone in the community can participate: read a book, share perspectives, attend a program, and build a stronger community together. All editions are available through Columbia County libraries as well as through our digital library platforms, Libby and Hoopla. All eleven libraries in Columbia County will be hosting book discussions, storytimes, film screenings, and other events related to William Kamkwamba’s story. Please see below for a list of upcoming programs! Events are still being added as this page is completed. For a complete list, download a PDF of our brochure.
Beginning September 15 – November 30. Germantown Library: Story Stroll around the Palatine Park featuring The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. A local student will be building signposts and signs to make a Story Stroll on his quest to attain Eagle Scout.
September 18 – Mid-November. Roe Jan Library: Story Walk: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Story Walk of the picture book along our path to the Roe Jan Kill.
September 18 | 3:30 p.m. Chatham Public Library: Wind Turbines with Kathy Ceceri. Kids ages 9-12 will create their own small wind turbines!
September 23 | 11:00 a.m. Claverack Free Library: Build Your Own Windmill. Kids will build their own windmill and light up William Kamkwamba’s house. We will test how the shape, angle, and number of the blades on the windmill will change the windmill’s speed. Registration required. Email email@example.com to register.
September 30 | 2:30 p.m. Livingston Free Library: Storytime at the library, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind picture book. Children will take home a windmill kit to assemble as a family activity! Showcase of finished windmills will happen at the library 2 weeks later. Registration required for up to 10 children.
October 12 | 3:30 p.m. Chatham Public Library: Storytime and Wind Socks. We will read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind picture book and create our own wind socks! Ages 5-8.
October 14 | 10:30 a.m. Roe Jan Library: Kids will build their own windmills and light up William Kamkwamba’s house. We will test how the shape, angle, and number of the blades on the windmill will change the windmill’s speed. Ages 5-12. Space is limited and registration is required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
October 15 | 2:00 p.m. Germantown Library: Build Your Own Windmill Makerspace Program.
October 17 | 4:30 p.m. New Lebanon Library: Build Your Own Windmill. Participants will hear the story The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind followed by building their own working windmill model. For ages 5 years and up. Registration is appreciated – email email@example.com to sign up.
October 21 | 2:00 p.m. Kinderhook Memorial Library: Wind Energy w/ Nutty Scientists. Harness the power of wind energy and design blades for a windmill that generates electricity! The blades can be customized in terms of shape, size, number and decoration. Ages 9-13. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
October 28 | 2:00 p.m. North Chatham Public Library: Join us in a windmill laboratory! In this workshop, we’ll build a windmill to lift a cup filled with spooky creatures powered by the wind. Kids from 5-12. Register by emailing email@example.com
September 21 | 1:00 p.m. Roe Jan Library: Book Marks! Book Club. Join Roe Jan’s non-fiction book club as they read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind as their September selection.
September 21 | 5:30 p.m. Kinderhook Public Library: Climate Discussion Group Kickoff. In person conversational and resource sharing group discussing climate change and impacts we can make at the local level.
October 18 | 6:00 p.m. Philmont Public Library: In-person adult book discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
October 23 | 6:00 p.m. Chatham Public Library: In-person adult book discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
October 23 | 6:00 p.m. Hudson Area Library. Non-fiction Book Group. A discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom link.
October 23 | 6:30 p.m. Chatham Public Library: In-person book discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
October 28 | 11:00 a.m. New Lebanon Library: In-person adult book discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
October 30 | 6:00 p.m. Claverack Free Library: In-person book discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
September 23 | 4:00 p.m. Roe Jan Library: Film screening of William and the Windmill. All ages welcome.
October 20 | 6:00 p.m. Claverack Free Library: William and the Windmill film screening.
October 20 | 6:30 p.m. New Lebanon Library: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind film screening.
November 5 | 1:00 p.m. CCLA Film Screening at Crandell Theatre of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Free and open to the public.
October 5 | 7:00 p.m. Meet the Illustrator. CCLA will host a webinar with illustrator Liz Zunon. Email email@example.com to register.
October 30 | 6:00 p.m. Wind Energy in NYS. Learn about wind power development in New York State. We will discuss how and why New York is pursuing projects to create electricity using wind energy and producing no air pollution, both on land and at sea, as well as where this construction is planned and what these turbines will look like. Questions will be very welcome! The program is presented by Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), a broad coalition dedicated to promoting clean energy, energy efficiency, a healthy environment, and a strong economy in the Empire State. ACE NY has grown to include the New York Offshore Wind Alliance and the Friends of Upstate NY Wind Power. Anne Reynolds has served as executive director of ACE NY since 2014. In that role she has successfully advocated for New York’s 70% Clean Energy Standard and a NYSERDA procurement program to support that mandate, the development of an offshore wind program, and more. Prior to ACE, Ms. Reynolds served as a Deputy Commissioner at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the role of chief financial and operations officer and as Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Planning, which included legislative affairs. Before DEC, she covered air and energy issues for Environmental Advocates of New York; worked at the Tellus Institute for Energy and Environmental Strategies in Boston, and at the US Environmental Protection Agency Region II in NYC. She holds a Master of Environmental Studies from Yale and a BS in Biology and Environmental Studies from Tufts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.