Teachers Collect Books to Send Home With Their Students

I was at our local Goodwill in the children’s book section, when I saw them. Two ladies approached the children’s books with purpose and determination. My children and I watched as their cart quickly filled up with books. Curious by the conversation the women had as they searched through the book, I asked: “Are you teachers collecting books for your students?” With great enthusiasm, the women nodded and the principal (who was present) introduced herself to me. I was so moved by their love for the students and the goal to collect books for their kids, I arranged to interview Principal Donna Wiggins of Riverbend Elementary School.

Riverbend Elementry School has 400 students in the K-5th grades. Principal Wiggins has a goal of sending EVERY student 5 books for the summer break. The school is creating a summer reading program to go along with the books they send home with their students. As of right now, Principal Wiggins and her staff of dedicated educators have collected 1 book for each child towards their overall goal of 5 books per child.

While Riverbend Elementary School is not a immersion school, they are also collecting some spanish books to share with their students. “We have a large Hispanic community, and the parents may read Spanish, but not English. So having Spanish books would be a bonus to our families. We are trying to connect with everyone [in our school].” Says Principal Wiggins.

The end of school is next Wednesday, May 24th. If you would like to donate any K-5 picture books, early readers or chapter books, Riverbend Elementary is collecting book donations to reach their goal of 5 books per child for summer break. Riverbend Elementary will be having summer school, and they will be accepting books during the summer as well. To get books to Riverbend, local residents are welcome to drop books off. Or you could also ship books to:

Riverbend Elementary

Attn: Summer Reading Program

1742 Cleveland Hwy.

Gainesville GA 30501

I wanted to share my interview with Principal Wiggins. She was a delight to talk to; it’s very evident she is passionate about reading and encouraging kids to be readers. I share the same passion, so we had a great conversation!

1. Why not just use the Get Georgia Reading Digital Program?

Principal Wiggins: “We love and appreciate digital books, but there is something about a physical copy. There is a lot to be gained from a physical book.”

2. What is the advantage of a physical book?

Principal Wiggins: “A physical copy of a book brings families today. It allows kids to touch the book, learn correctly how to open a book, and which way to turn the pages.

3. What are some of your favorite children’s books?

Principal Wiggins: “Runaway Bunny, and Goodnight Moon. For older elementary students, A Year Down Under is funny. Out of the Dust is historical fiction. Chronicles of Narnia always fun because you can use different voices. Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander is another great one. Oh, and Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.”

4. What are your tips for summer reading:

Principal Wiggins: “Read every day to your child. Discuss what you are reading with your child. Have your child read to you.”

5. What are ways parents can pick out the right books for children?

Principal Wiggins: “Connect books to real life. Find out what your child is interested in. You know your kid best! Stretch your kids! Introduce them to books you think they might be interested in. And finally, make sure your children see YOU reading. It’s okay to have a reading time every day so that you take time to read and your kids get to read on their own too!”

Riverbend Elementary School is doing a great work to spread literacy and encourage their students to be reading this summer. Let’s help them meet their goal by sending them K-5th Grade books!

Riverbend Elementary School

Attn: Summer Reading Program

1742 Cleveland Hwy

Gainesville GA 30501

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