COLUMBUS, Ohio — The winds of change just happen. They cause us to bend, to break, to adapt. For some of us, it inspires change itself.
On a bench outside a downtown Columbus library, Donte Woods-Spikes reads his words from his book.
“The book is called So Long: Unfinished Goodbyes with Children of COVID-19,” he said.
A former teacher’s aide, Woods-Spikes worked with the school system for four years. It’s his time there he saw a need to talk about race, LGBTQ, diversity and all issues that directly impact students, teachers and families.
“How can we address all of these different things in a new sense,” he said.
Covid, he says, kept him from being as present as he wanted to be in students’ lives. So, as a way to connect, he put thoughts to chapters and ink to paper.
“I never saw myself writing a book,” he said.
Special, meaningful moments crafted from personal, local interactions knowing his lens snaps similar situations nationwide.
“The issues I touch on are universal,” he said.
It took about a year to make the book a reality. Self-published, it officially launched at the end of October. About 200 copies have been sold and none of it is for him.
“I ain’t even making a profit yet,” Woods-Spikes laughed.
He wants to take everything he gets and put it back into the education system that inspired the book in the first place.
“I want to take that and turn it into something major,” he said. “I don’t really know what it is yet, but that’s why the book is inquisitive and it asks people what do you think, how do you feel, have you been through this situation before.”
He calls his book an accidental journey.
“Every time something comes up, I have no idea what I’m going to do but somehow it just happens,” he said.
Just like the winds of change it just happens.