As you know, students at Columbine overcome many obstacles in order to achieve their respective goals. I must thank you personally for your advocacy. Your book gifts have been tremendous supports which have helped our students become better readers, thereby increasing their self-esteem, self-respect, and self-reliance.
My teachers have shared numerous ideas about how they have used your books as a practicum. Our children read and learn alongside their parents while creating projects, reading and creating recipes, and most importantly, exchanging and verbalizing feelings, thoughts, goals, and family issues. Your book gifts became not only instruments for academic improvement, but tools for family bonding—so rare in our student’s lives. Your generous contribution, along with creative lessons planned by Columbine teachers, brought generations of extended families and community members together to discuss the stories of their lives and their families’ rich traditions and core values.
My teachers and I thank you for the extra resources that help them teach with quality and creativity. My students thank you for all the fun! Again, I thank you for your help with teaching our students that literacy is the foundation for joy and a good life.
Principal, Columbine Elementary
On behalf of the students, parents, and staff of Maria Mitchell ECE-6, I would
like to thank you for choosing our school and our ECE-3rd grade students to
receive the 10 brand new books to take home. It is so heart-warming to think
that over 2,700 beautiful new books went out into our community. Mitchell is
located in neighborhood highly impacted by poverty, and many of our families
don't have the luxury to spend money on books and to build a rich home
The students and parents were so excited to receive the books. Our teachers
were very creative in introducing the 10 books each student received to take
home, as well as brought parents in to share with their children as they
received these books for their home libraries. Many of our families have
two or more children that attend Mitchell. The books you so generously gave
our students will be held by many little hands and read many, many times.
Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated. Your efforts in creating such an amazing organization will impact so many lives and will continue to give more than we could ever measure.
Principal, Maria Mitchell Elementary School
I just wanted to let you know what an amazing addition your books have been to
the learning that is happening for my students this year. It took time to figure
out how to best use the books.
The first book I introduced was Cuando sea grande. We began with an
extended picture walk which took two days. On the third day I passed out
individual copies and let the children picture walk and discuss with a
partner. On the fourth day the children were begging me to read it to them
They adored the story, of course, and we happily spent more than another
week rereading and discussing it. I wanted the children to become very fond
of the story and protective of the books before I sent them home.
Finally I did send Cuando sea grande home with each child for
Christmas. It is very likely that for many of these children this was the first
time that they ever found a book under the Christmas tree (brand new, brightly
wrapped and in Spanish)!
For the next two weeks we studied La Princesa y El Guisante, and it
turned out that none of them knew what a pea was because they are not served
in Mexico! So, naturally, I brought in peas to taste, and they thought,
almost unanimously, that the peas were quite tasty.
Soon after, we had our first parent meeting. I told the children that if
they attended the meeting with their parents they would be able to take
The Princess and the Pea home. Seventeen of the twenty-one families
attended and the remainder made appointments with me for later in the week.
I asked the parents why reading is important; shared some research data with
them about love of books, success in reading, graduation rates and future
earnings, and quality of life. Then I modeled how to read with their
children, and all the families sat and read together for 20 minutes with
juice and cookies.
The ten books became an integral part of my literacy program and, in fact,
my program was built around them. As the year passed, all ten books went home
with the children. It was a fabulous way to reach out to families and
strengthen the home school connection.
I cannot thank you enought for your commitment and generosity. Check your
mailbox for the childrens' letters!!!
Harrington Elementary School