By Amber Schumacher
EDGEMONT - On Tuesday, May 22 during the last week of school, the third, fourth and fifth grade combined reading class of Edgemont Elementary School ventured outside with teachers Michele Joint “Miss J” and Carol Harding to the local Edgemont Library. While at the library the kids were challenged to a book hunt and listened intently as Miss J. read a special book to them and talked about a life lesson in being kind and how to find peace in everyday situations.
To begin their library stay, the kids were all challenged to find a book or book series that provided multiple endings to the readers. Many of these books are also referred to as, “Choose your own Adventure” books. Marie Pushman, a fifth grader, was the first to find a book fitting the specifications of the library challenge.
While many students continued to look for additional books, others took the opportunity to explore other offerings of the library such as legos, coloring pages and computers linked to the internet.
Before the class wrapped up their tour, they all gathered around the couch to listen as Miss J read them all the beloved children’s book, “Peace is an Offering” by Annette LeBox and Stephanie Graegin. This book teaches children to find love in everyday things and shows them that peace is all around. Based on the book’s synopsis, it is “A warm, comforting poem about finding peace in a community of neighbors.”
Miss J continued the lesson on by giving a gentle lecture to the kids about offering peace and kindness in a situation where sometimes it is easier not to. She also encouraged the children to reach out to each other as well as herself and Ms. Harding throughout the summer and let them know she is always available if they find they need an adult to talk to. Through teary eyes Miss J reminded the students to find peace through tragedy and everyday happenings and recited a passage from the book, “Peace is an offering. A muffin or a peach. A birthday invitation. A trip to the beach.”
Before the students packed up their things to head back to school, Miss J and Harding encouraged students to take part in the special summer reading groups offered by the library. They suggested the students come down to the library throughout their summer days and leave their electronics behind in favor of some light and fun reading time.
This summer’s Edgemont Library theme is “Libraries Rock” and will be providing reading programs and summer story hours from June 1 through July 31. The summer reading program offers prize opportunities for all ages for those who participate, this program runs Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Additionally, the library is offering four special summer story hours on June 5, June 19, July 10 and July 24. These story hours are geared towards preschool and elementary kids and will begin promptly at 10:30 am for the dates aforementioned. The library encourages kids and parents to check the library often for updates on fun activities and events and will be providing a pool and pizza party for those that participate during the summer programs. Library Vice President Susan Ostenson remarks, “See you at our Rockin’ Library!”
Photos by Amber Schumacher/Fall River County Herald
Teacher Carol Harding stands next to some of the kids as they listened to Miss J read "Peace is an Offering" to the class at the Edgemont Public Library on May 22.
IN-LINE PHOTO:Fifth grader Marie Pushman, age 11, is busy hunting down a genre of books after being challenged by teacher Miss J to find any books that offer “choose your own adventure” or “alternate endings”. Marie was the first student to successfully find the correct style of book.