Rally for Reading with Rubbermaid: Guest Blogger David Jernigan, Deputy Superintendent
I was excited to be on hand last week for a Reading Rally Assembly hosted by Newell Rubbermaid, the district’s newest partner and our friends at Scholastic Book Fairs as they donated new books to the students of William Boyd Elementary School. This was a part of Newell Rubbermaid’s second-annual Global Day of Service where dozens of employees volunteered during the day at both Boyd and Burgess Peterson Academy.
It was important to me for the students to understand what it meant to be generous, so I asked each of them to think really hard about their favorite toy or game. Then I asked them to imagine what it would be like to give that toy or game away to their friend. That feeling…that’s what it means to be generous, I explained, and that is what our partners at Newell Rubbermaid and Scholastic were doing with their time, talent and donations.
In addition to the donation of five books per student, (a total of 2,500 books), Newell Rubbermaid will also donate a Community Reading Oasis to both schools in the near future. This will be a special room in the school where students can relax, enjoy books and read in a peaceful environment. The hope is that the space will give families an opportunity to enjoy reading together. It will be filled with reading themed artwork, furniture and even a listening library! Teachers also received supplies, including dry erase markers that are always in high demand at any school! As a former classroom teacher and school leader, I can tell you that classroom supply donations make a difference!
How did the kids thank Newell Rubbermaid President and CEO Michael Polk, all of our volunteers and our school leaders and staff for working together to create this opportunity? We sang my favorite thank you song – it was a hit with my 3rd graders back in the day. “That’s the way, un huh un huh, I like it!” When we finished singing and dancing, Mr. Polk said it was the BEST thank-you he had ever received!
I believe that partnerships like this can really make a difference in a child’s life because that child has something special to bring home, use and share with his or her family. I also love that our kids get to see the values of service and generosity modeled firsthand by leaders in our community. I look forward to seeing the finished Oasis rooms at both Boyd and Burgess.