Chester Community Supports Fifth Grade Students; Collects 22,000 Books For South African Schools

December 4, 2010 on 10:20 am | In Book Drives/Book Donation Events, USA Program News, Volunteers in the News | No Comments

Book Drive By the Bragg School  Triples Planned For Goal!

Teacher Meryl Ironson and some of the fifth grade students who participated in the book drive

Teacher Meryl Ironson and some of the fifth grade students who participated in the book drive

On Saturday, December 4, 2010, Bragg School fifth graders renewed their partnership with Randfontein Primary School of South Africa, beginning with a book drive in which they collected 22,000 books.  Meryl Ironson, a fifth grade teacher at Bragg and a Global Literacy Project volunteer organized the book drive in collaboration with her fifth grade class.

Meryl visited the South African school in 2008 as part of the follow up to a smaller book drive. She returned with videos, photos and letters of the children that many Bragg students had befriended. Since then, with the support of the school principal and faculty of the Bragg School she has nurtured a connection between the two schools. This past spring they published their second “Teaching Minds, Reaching Hearts” joint poetry anthology.

A central goal of the program she developed with GLP’s assistance is to teach students that while they are citizens of their community, they are also citizens of the world. The book drive is the community outreach portion of a  program, involving social studies and language arts classes.

Later in the year, pen pal letters will be exchanged and poetry will be used to unite the children of two continents. Poetry anthologies will be created by children at Bragg and Randfontein and a “Poetry Slam” or “Eistefodd,” as it is known in South Africa, will be featured in the spring.

In attendance were the Superintendent of Schools for Chester (Dr. Christina Van Woert), Bragg School Principal Dan Johnson, Nicole Macaluso, a fifth grade science teacher who partnered with Meryl to assist in developing the project, as well as many of the teachers from Bragg School along with hundreds of parents.

For more information about the Classroom to Classroom Connection, “Teaching Minds, Reaching Hearts” poetry anthology or for information on how to run a community book drive, contact Dr. Emeka Akaezuwa of GLP at  Emeka@glpinc.org.

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