Fletcher School Kindergarteners Benefit From Book Donation

Fletcher Elementary School kindergartners in Everett Nelson’s class show off the books donated by the Social Justice Committee at the Unitarian Church in Jamestown.

“We have a special surprise for you today,” said Fletcher Elementary School kindergarten teacher Everett Nelson to his class. “There is a church in Jamestown who decided that children in our school needed books that you can keep and take home. You get to choose the book that you are interested in and they also gave you a sketchbook and paints to give you room to be creative by painting your own pictures. The book you receive today will be a lot of fun for you. It can last days, months or years if you take good care of it.”

Mr. Nelson, along with fellow teacher Jennifer Schrader, received the book donation from the Social Justice Committee at the Unitarian Church in Jamestown last month in time for Valentine’s Day. Committee member Pat Brininger had approached Mr. Nelson to see if they would be interested. The committee will be donating books to all kindergarten classes at Fletcher Elementary School two more times this school year.

“We were so excited to hear of the donation,” said Mr. Nelson. “The kids were thrilled to each receive a book, a sketch book, paints and a bookmark to take home. We are so thankful for the donation and you would not believe how delighted the kids were to receive the gift.”

The Social Justice Committee at the Unitarian Church heard about the idea of giving books to schools through Ruby Wiles of Warren, PA who received the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown’s (UUCJ) Richard T. Parker Award for Social Justice. The award recognizes individuals whose volunteer work for social justice has not been widely acknowledged. Mrs. Wiles is the founder of “Free Books for Kids Town” and “Halloween Read and Treat.” Mrs. Wiles met with the Social Justice Committee to give them ideas and help make it a priority to promote reading by getting books to kids who might not have them. Mrs. Wiles helped the group with her sources to buy books inexpensively.

In addition to the Fletcher Elementary School kindergarten donation, the committee also donated to Washington Middle School English as a New Language teacher, Emily Garrick, funds to buy books for her fifth and sixth graders. The Social Justice Committee looks forward to continuing to work with the Fletcher kindergarten classes to provide books to the students.

“If we can inspire any other group or organization to give books to children at the schools, we would love for that to happen,” said UUCJ Social Justice Committee member Pat Brininger. “It brings us joy to donate the books and know that the children can take them home to continue to encourage a love of reading both inside and outside the school day.”