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Calvin ASCD Chapter Donates Books
December 13, 2005

The Calvin chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) recently went book shopping for a couple of Grand Rapids schools.

Members of the ASCD spent $150 at the annual Scholastic Warehouse Book Sale, and the books they bought at half price-titles like Manana, Iguana, David Gets in Trouble, and My Teacher for President-will be donated to first and second graders at Buchanan Elementary and Potter’s House Christian schools.

Both Buchanan and Potter’s House are participants in Calvin’s $179,000 Teacher Quality Grant, which bolsters the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Four Blocks literacy model.

“Some of these students don’t have many books at home,” says James Rooks, director of the grant project. “And now they can take a book home and read it to brothers, sisters and parents, so I think that’s a really wonderful thing.”

The book donation is an annual event for the group, says ASCD co-chair Jill Postema, and it’s timed to capitalize on the Scholastic sale.

“Since the books are half price, you can buy three-hundred dollars worth of books,” she says, “and because it’s Scholastic, they should be quality books.”

Though the Calvin ASCD (an affiliate of the organization of 170,000 educators from more than 135 countries) always the donates books to an area school, this year they chose to support an existing Calvin partnership. The Four Blocks project partners professors and students from several Calvin departments with teachers from the two elementary schools to improve the teaching of reading and writing.

Postema, who has served with the ASCD for two years, looks forward to shopping for books at this time of year.

“I would rather to have money to go into a bookstore than to go shopping for clothes,” says the teacher-in-training. She also recognizes how important it is for children to have access to books.

“I’ve given kids books after working with them," she says, "and I’ve seen their faces light up. They’re thrilled to get them. As an educator, I realize that children don’t learn how to read, they’re stuck for life. You can’t fill out a job application. You can’t read the directions in a mathematics book. You have to be able to read. It’s vital.”

~written by media relations staff writer Myrna Anderson