Teacher asks, community responds, third graders get books
By Suzanne Dean
EPHRAIM—A thirdgrade teacher at Ephraim Elementary says she will be reaching out to the community again to ask for donations so every child in third grade can receive a Scholastic book each month.
The Scholastic organization markets books geared to children’s reading levels to schools around the county. Students at Ephraim Elementary have a chance to purchase a Scholastic book once per moth during the school year.
During the 2017-18 school year, Wendy Christofferson noticed that some children in her class bought one or more books nearly every month. But some children, often from poorer families, never bought a book.
Over the summer before the 2018-19 school year, she solicited donations from businesses and individuals to enable her to order one book per month for each child in her class.
The response was big enough that the program was extended to three other third grade classes at the school.
Christofferson decided to select one book each month and order it for all third graders, except sometimes she ordered one title for girls and a different one for boys. “No one was left out,” she says. “Everyone got the same thing.”
The Scholastic company gives bonuses based on the number of books purchased. Some months, the Ephraim third grade had enough bonus points to be able, with donations, to give children two books instead of one.
“Many months we were able to give them stickers and bookmarks to go with [their books] and for these 8-year
olds, that is pretty exciting stuff,” Christofferson says.
Christofferson wants to express thanks to the community for bringing “a lot of joy to a lot of kids who would never have received a new book otherwise, let alone nine.”
During July, she says she will be posting appeals on social media for donations for the 2019-20 school year.