Announcements will appear in this section for upcoming events and/or any urgent information for parents.
READ IT FORWARD: The Princeton Charter School community has a wonderful opportunity: Every year, across the country, individuals and institutions come together to honor the work of Martin Luther King Jr. with a Day of Service (http://mlkday.gov/about/serveonkingday.php). This year, PCS will be collecting new and gently used books to give to a sister school in need. During the week January 13 – 17, 2014, we will be collecting books from the PCS community and the greater Princeton community. During the long weekend (January 18 – 20, 2014), PCS parents, teachers, and students will volunteer their time to sort the books by reading level and genre and pack boxes for delivery to teachers for immediate use in their classrooms. The idea is to send teachers boxes full of “kid-read and kid-approved” books.
This project’s genesis can be traced to a professional development day that Laurie Ludgin attended at Columbia University’s Teacher College. After a presentation, a fellow participant asked Lucy Caulkins (the Director of the Reading and Writing Project) “What do I do if I don’t have a classroom library?” Ms. Calkins replied, “You change schools. You can’t teach students to read, if you don’t have books in your classroom.” This teacher came from a school in a struggling school district. She described classrooms in which teachers had 10 independent reading books for 30 students. In her particular school, 88% of the students were eligible for a free lunch. After the discussion, Laurie Ludgin and the teacher exchanged contact information, and this project was born.
In Princeton, it can be so easy to take books for granted: Our schools are full of books. We have a wonderful, well-stocked public library that is open seven days a week due to the generosity of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library group. We can browse for books at the Labyrinth Book Store on Nassau Street or at the Barnes and Noble in Marketfair. It’s hard to imagine that young elementary school students so close to us have such limited access to books at the very time in their lives when it is critical to develop a love of reading.
In the first year of the Read It Forward Program, all of the books that PCS collects for the program will go directly to the school of the teacher who voiced the need for independent reading books. We know that it will make a tremendous difference in the lives of the children in that school. It is a teacher-to-teacher program. The other school is ready and eager to receive books from PCS. In the years to come, if the program is successful, we hope to broaden its reach.
We will be using PCS’s Black Box Theater in January to collect the books. We don’t have space available right now to begin the collection. So, after the holidays, when you are making room on your shelves for more books, please consider starting a donation box at home that you will bring to school the week of January 13 – 17, 2014.
So, why is this announcement in the Newsletter this week? This week you have an opportunity to purchase a new book at the book fair to make a donation to the cause. Find one that is beautiful and shiny. It’s such an easy way to make a real difference in the life of a child knowing that your book will be directly delivered to a school in need next month. If you do purchase a new book, please feel free to bring it to the 5-8 office. We’ll also be accepting Barnes and Noble gift cards so that teachers in our sister school have the opportunity to purchase books that they know that their students would love.
If you would like to volunteer to help with the Read It Forward project, please contact Lisa Eckstrom , Sue Kushner , or Laurie Ludgin at school. We’ll be looking for plenty of volunteers in the weeks when we return from the winter holiday break.