Together with a small army of volunteers and stacks of books in tow, the SAF took this message to every GRPS elementary building last week to read They All Saw a Cat with first-grade students.
This fantastic experience was made possible because of community support. First, from the anonymous donor who, three years ago, brought the idea for Good Things Happen to the SAF. A former teacher, our generous donor explained why They All Saw a Cat was selected as this year’s book:
“It hit the trifecta for me: colorful, engaging illustrations, repetitive and rhythmic text, and depth in the storyline. Being able to talk about how different living things have different viewpoints is a valuable and important lesson.”
Community support didn’t end there. Twenty-seven volunteers participated as guest readers, ensuring that every first grade classroom experienced the book read aloud. Afterward, each student (more than 1,600 in all) was handed a copy of the book to keep and take home.
The exuberant commentary was immediate.
“I am going to love my book forever!”
-Miles, first grade student, Harrison Park School
Local community engagement included a discounted purchase price for the books from Schuler Books & Music, the independent store owned by Bill and Cecile Fehsenfeld. Farther afield, Chronicle Books provided posters and activity kits to all 26 participating classrooms. Shawmut Hills School even featured a superstar guest reader—They All Saw a Cat author, Brendan Wenzel. Mr. Wenzel read to students via Skype and even entertained a few questions from the audience. Watch Mr. Wenzel and the Shawmut first graders here.
By partnering with the people and organizations that make up this tremendous community, we 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!