Please mom, can I have…Books full of pages of stories and tales
About kings and queens, and riding the rails.
About presidents and states, and a marathon race
About oceans and lakes, and enormous tanks
About monsters and ogres, and little green clovers
About dogs and cats, and small talking rats
About galaxies and stars, and fast moving cars
About music and songs, and men who are strong
About mountains and caves, and huge ocean waves
Oh Mom, oh mom!
I could keep going on!
By: Salina Bishop
Remember story time in school? The gentle way the teacher would corral students to the oversized patchwork carpet, and then softly take her seat upon that special reading chair. How the colorful book would be nestled perfectly between her fingers just so, and the wide sweeping gesture as she slowly displayed the imaginative illustrations to the entire class. Existing for a moment in a different time and space, story time brought to life an entire world of make believe.
A few years ago, the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation was approached by a visionary, who happened to be a former teacher, to create a program specifically to encourage early reading. Now celebrating its fourth year, that program – Good Things Happen to Readers- has impacted thousands of 1st grade GRPS students by putting books into their hands, hearts and homes!
On November 8, Good Things Happen to Readers wrangled up 27 volunteers -equipped with boxes of books
and goodie bags full of activities for teachers – to visit 27 different GRPS elementary schools. With the specifically chosen book in hand, volunteers situated themselves in the schools’ libraries to read to their curious young audience.
This year’s book selection, “After the Fall” by Dan Santat chronicles Humpty Dumpty’s journey after his great fall. A
beautifully illustrated story about picking yourself up again when life hands you lemons, was a huge hit among these early readers. And thanks to the generosity of one thoughtful, former teacher, each student (more than 1,800 in all) received their very own copy!
By partnering with the people and organizations of our tremendous community, the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation can continue to support early literacy and a love of reading for all our students and prove to them that Good Things do Happen to Readers!
For more ways you can get involved and help provide experiences like this one, click here.