I believe there is always something to celebrate. Today I join with Ruth Ayers and her commuity of writers who celebrate each weekend to celebrate the arrival of new books at our school.
The first boxes arrived the last instructional day in December, right before our three-week winter break.
In the flurry of a holiday celebration on the last school day of the calendar year, the boxes were just one more thing. But after the last school bell rang out, and most of the children had gone off to their homes or afterschool care providers, a strange quiet began to settle over our central office.
“The books arrived,” declared the office manager.
“Really? Which books are they?”
“I think they’re the libraries.”
“Oh?” I responded, not looking up from the report I was working to finish before heading out to the staff dinner. But then… a few sentences later …it hit me.
“Wait! Did you say the libraries?” I queried.
“How many boxes?”
“There’s a lot,” she replied.
And so it was. Boxes and boxes of beautiful books had arrived for kindergarten hands and first-grade fingers and second-grade book baggies. These are no regular libraries! These are the new Heinemann leveled classroom libraries. Here they were. Bright and beautiful, tiny treasures and crisp clean picture books for reading aloud sitting there so proud in their shiny new jackets.
…fast forward three weeks…
Tuesday afternoon, early dismissal for teachers to have professional development. And on this particular afternoon, teachers came together for a book check-in party. They stamped the books with the school’s name, laughed, shared stories and talked about the libraries.
“Can I take them back to my room?” one teacher asked.
“Are these for OUR classrooms?” inquired another.
Our resource teacher just stopped to read one of the books, Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins. “What a great story! I can’t wait to share it with my kids.”
Teachers know the power of a book in a child’s hands.
Now at the end of the first week of our bright and promising new school year, the building is breathing in and breathing out with libraries that are growing, becoming, building to support the important work each of our students do every day.