February 17, 2017

Eighth grade students show generosity and share the love of reading on Valentien's Day by Lorraine Glowczak

What does one do with 50 free children’s books received from the literary resource company, Scholastic Reading? Mrs. Julie Anderson, eighth grade teacher at Windham Middle School, posed this question to her students when she received the books from the company, as a gift/apology for an error they made on a previous order.

It didn’t take much time for the students to decide what to do. Sparked by the suggestion of student Tea Lamb, the group decided to spread the love of reading by wrapping the books in red and pink heart-shaped wrapping paper and then delivered them to the library at the Windham Primary School (WPS) on Valentine’s Day.

“After discussing a few possibilities, it came down to: 1) Wrapping the books for our future children or 2) Give them to the library,” Lamb explained. “And we decided on the library.”

Pat Powell (L) interim librarian and Tea Lamb (R) 8th grade student
“It was a fun process to witness,” Anderson said. “I especially enjoyed watching the students wrap the books and reminisce about their favorite childhood stories.”

Pat Powell, interim librarian, was there to greet the eighth grade students as they arrived on the cold Valentine’s Day morning, with a big box full of childhood fiction. “We are so very happy to receive these books,” Powell said. “We need new books since some of ours are lost or get damaged during the school year.”

Melanie Keary, library media technician, stated that Mrs. Carrier’s third grade students came in for their library class that morning and were the ones to help unwrap the books and will write thank you notes to the eighth grade students. “The kids were surprised and excited to open all of these new books this morning. Many asked if they could borrow them right away!”

The small paperbacks and hardbacks donated to the WPS Library included such titles as “The Magic Treehouse”, “A Bad Case of Stripes,” and “Charlotte’s Web.”

“Most of these books will go into the library's circulation;” Powell continued, “A few may be donated to the school book-swap we have every spring to help encourage reading at home.”

Dr. Kyle Rhoads, principal of WPS, took a moment out of his busy day to be a part of the book giving festivities. Most of the eighth grade students were returning to their old stomping grounds and getting a moment to talk to their previous principal. Rhoads had to do a double take with some of his former students.” So many of them have grown so much, I almost didn’t recognize some of them,” Rhoads joked. “It is good to see the type of caring and giving people they are becoming.”

Although Valentine’s Day is known for romantic love and thoughtful gift giving to those who matter to us, the considerate donation of books to a primary school library provides the opportunity to spark the love of reading in young children.

"This donation is an example of kids showing kindness and supporting each other in our community,” Kearny continued. “These eighth graders are great role models."

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