Campbell first grade teacher raises money to buy students a book each month
By Graig Graziosi
First-grade students at Campbell K-7 school will have nine new books to call their own by the end of the school year, thanks to donations from the community.
Tammy Thomson, a first- grade teacher at the school, raised money from community donations to provide each of her students with a book each month of the school year.
“I got the idea from other teachers in Facebook groups I’ve joined ...,” she said. “Scholastic offers $1 books each month, so I reached out to the community in our Campbell Facebook group to see if they would sponsor each student $9 for the school year. Within 20 minutes, I had the books fully funded. I almost cried.”
This month, the students were given “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst. In October they were given a book appropriate for the Halloween season, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat” by Lucille Colandro.
The students get to keep their books and are encouraged to read them on their own or at home with their parents in addition to their in-class reading.
“Some of the dollar books, like our current one, are slightly above their current reading level, but when we have those we read together in class,” Thomson said. “I make sure we get a mix of books that they can easily read on their own and more advanced books.”
Thomson said it was important for first-graders to be exposed to reading as much as possible to help develop their skills.
“The more they read, the more they’ll build confidence in their skills and, we hope, love reading,” she said.
Thomson plans to continue the program, confident the community will come out again to support the students.
“I’ve always known Campbell was a strong community, but I was overwhelmed by the support,” Thomson said. “We really do have a good community here in the city.”