A New Chapter for Old Books

Hubby and I attended our sixth Back to School Night at the very same school I attended K-2. The memories here have left a huge impact in my heart and mind.

*pause for memory recollection* Happy sigh.

As we sat in My Boy's 2nd grade classroom, we listened to his teacher discuss rules, goals, and needs for the year. He is a new teacher to our school, having just been told one week prior to the start of the year that he was teaching a 2nd grade class there.

The last 2 years he taught 4th grade at a sister school, alas he seemed a bit unprepared for his new challenge by the way of supplies.

We all know that teacher's are underpaid and the school budget is at an all-time low, so I try to support the classroom as much as one person can.

His classroom library was sparse with only a handful of books. My heart skipped a beat! I CAN HELP YOU! I wanted to shout, but kept quiet so I didn't look like a kiss-up.

Having been a K/1 teacher and owning practically a bookstore of beginning/intermediate reading material, I came home and started packing up a box to donate to Mr. D's class.

I was so excited, and so were the kids. I searched through 8 shelves of books (and that was just in the house) and chose about 100+ titles (for now) appropriate for the classroom.

We reminisced of all the stories that meant so much to us over the years. Books I used in my classroom. Books DQ received as gifts. Books My Boy purchased with his birthday money. Books K will love now that we've unearthed the Strawberry Shortcake collection.

I kept all my favorites and those sentimental to our family.

Some I smelled, some I read for memory's sake, and some I kissed goodbye.

It gives me great pleasure to pass on these precious nuggets of learning. It's the least I can do to help another teacher. A new teacher, as I was once. Especially one that will nurture the love of learning in my child.

47 supporters in group:

  1. Jill said...

    Oh I love donations... That teacher is going to be thrilled with everything you've given him (them).

    What a great way to depart with your treasured books... :)

  2. iceah said...

    looking forward to my sons first day in class next year c: dropping a visit c:

  3. ugagirl30 said...

    Awesome of you. I can totally feel Mr. D's stress level, as I was hired one week before school started for my first teaching job. I wish high schoolers parents were as supportive as elementary.

  4. Deb said...

    What an awesome thing to do! I'm sure the teacher will be overjoyed!

  5. HappyHourSue said...

    Is it my hormones? Why did that make me cry??? The books you share with your children are always special.

    That was such a generous thing to do. :)

  6. ParentingPink said...

    This is a really sweet post. I'm glad you were able to help out your son's teacher. My mom was a teacher & dad a principal, so I know that recent budget cuts across the country have hit the school hard. I'm sure your son's teacher was very appreciative!

    Now, I had no idea that you were a Kindertarten teacher, so I am going to rely on you for advice this year since my daughter just started this week. It's good to have friends in high places!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Tracey said...

    Your great! I buy multiple copies of MY FAVORITE books so I can pass them on to others too.

  8. jill jill bo bill said...

    That is so cool. It makes my heart skip a beat for you to know you've experienced the "it's better to give than receive" rush. So to continue on that feeling, you ready to hand over the bag yet?

  9. Susan said...

    Good for you for remembering what it was like and helping out a teacher in need!
    I'm sure it is nice to know that the books will be well used and enjoyed in their new home.

  10. MMJ said...

    How sweet and generous! I'm sure he'll be grateful!

  11. Pink Lemonade Bags said...

    How wonderful! I can't wait to hear his reaction when he sees all of your books!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    P.S. I am having a contest! I hope you come back to enter!

    http://pinklemonadeboutiquebags.blogspot.com

  12. Average Girl In Average World said...

    A selfless act can give all kinds of warm fuzzies!!! I got chicken skin right now from it.

    ***sighs, and begins my own reminiscing***

  13. The White House said...

    Awesome! I am sure he will appreciate that so much. the first year I taught K, I had a parent do the same and was so blessed, and so were the kids. I think they may have tired of reading the same 3 books all year.

  14. Jamey said...

    that is great! good for you, I am sure the teacher will love you for it!

  15. Jamey said...

    that is great! good for you, I am sure the teacher will love you for it!

  16. Blog Stalker said...

    What a warm and giving response to a need you just happened to notice. I too share a love for reading. If children are not 'hooked' on books young they can become like some of my friends who will say they can't remember the last time they read a book.

    Kudos to you and your children for your generous donation. Think of the young minds you are helping to expand.

    Have a great day.

  17. Rachel said...

    How wonderful! Those students are so lucky!

    I've never understood why classroom libraries weren't more important to some teachers. Some of my fellow English teachers never kept classroom libraries -- how in the WORLD can you be creating a successful learning environment if you aren't giving students the opportunity to read for pleasure!?!?!?!? I always had kids looking through my library and borrowing books. Some I never got back, but that's ok. With our literacy rate the way it is, I was just thrilled that they were interested in a book!

    Ok. . . . backing off my soapbox.

  18. Lisa said...

    What a good mama you are, but more importantly, a good person. I think back to when I started my classroom & my library was mostly made up of books that others passed on to me - thank GOD!

    Sweet story, Jen!

  19. Amber said...

    What a great idea to help out the classroom. I too have a love for books. I taught Kindergarten and have a large collection of books. I think they all bring some memory back :)

  20. Tasha said...

    Aw how nice! I heart books, too. Maybe that's what makes us good bloggers? :P

  21. Leah said...

    That's so awesome of you!

  22. tollesons4him said...

    That's so awesome that you could help out by donating books. Being the wife of an educator I know exactly what you mean when you say that are underpaid.

  23. TentCamper said...

    Very nice of you. Too bad there is not one of you at every school.

    Can ou snd me a book....I need to learn how to read

  24. QuirkyLoon said...

    You are not only cheaper than therapy, you are kind and generous too!

  25. Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

    That's so AWESOME!! I am sure he as well as the kids appreciate it! I donated a bunch last year to my daughters class because she was always complaining there were no good books to read. So I buy used ones at thrift stores and donate them.

  26. ali said...

    How great that your kids want to share their books! My son didn't even want to give up ONE book for the book exchange last year. Stinker.

  27. ciara said...

    i think that teacher is very lucky to have you help out. donating those books is great. it sucks that teachers don't get paid enough, not enough money in the school system to get everything they need, etc. the school my kids go to is in it's 2nd yr and it's somewhat coming together. took them awhile to get their books for the library last year!

  28. I am Boymom said...

    What a great gift for a teacher in a stressful situation! You rock! I get all sentimental over all of our favorite books too. It's amazing how many feelings can be attached to something as simple as a story.

  29. Tena said...

    You rock Jen!!
    That new teacher will remember what you did his whole career, talk about paying it forward! It is a wonder feeling knowing you can help someone out.

  30. Elle said...

    That's awesome. What a great thing to do!

  31. scargosun said...

    You are so awesome. He is going to love you for this...until he has to pack up at the end of the year. ;)

  32. Rebecca a.k.a. Mum said...

    What a wonder thing to do Jen, I am sure not only will Mr D. appreciate all the fabulous books you will be giving to him, but the kids will enjoy them thoroughly!!

    You deserve #1 Class Mum for that one!! :)

  33. Petra said...

    What a wonderful mommy you are to be so supportive if your child's classroom!

  34. Zip n Tizzy said...

    So wonderful that you are so supportive. However, so sad that most schools are so grossly underfunded.!

  35. Merrie said...

    That's awesome, Jen. What a good thing to do. We, too, are getting ready to sell some that have been outgrown and forgotten, but we keep the ones that are special to us. I love that there were "some you smelle." I know exactly what you mean!

  36. georgie said...

    Yep you flat out ROCK! You are every Teachers Dream of a Parent! and reading this post made me miss the days when my beans were younger and books were appreciated like this...

  37. OHmommy said...

    That is so sweet, to give away books with memories. For a very good cause, of course.

    I too was a teacher and so understand. ;)

  38. JenniBeanV said...

    Wow! That was really nice of you! I am sure he really appreciated it!

    All I did was buy tissues...now I feel like a scumbum! LOL!

  39. Ann said...

    Oh Jen, I'm constantly reminded of why I like you so much!
    This was a terrific story!!!
    I'm right there with you. (I can smell those books right now. AAhhh.)

    (*Now, about that Wordle th'ang. I had to install Java XL, or Java something, and it worked great. It's fun and it won't create a new toolbar or anything funky on your computer.)

  40. flickrlovr said...

    I sometimes go through all my favorite childhood books (of which I have MANY, I was/am a total bookworm) and it brings back such wonderful memories. I love reading.

    I remember carefully selecting huge piles of books (maybe 30, stacked high), when reading time with Dad came around...he was good at doing the voices. Especially The Count, in my one and only Sesame Street book-which I cherished dearly. I remember the scritch scratch of his unshaven skin at the end of the day, resting my head on his shoulder, small enough to fit in the crook of his arm. Even when I grew older, and wasn't, he still, somehow, made me fit. I never remember him telling me "no, sorry, that's too many books". He read them all joyfully, and never quit doing the voices. I'd giggle, even though I'd heard them a thousand times.

    Books are so much more than a learning tool. They're a way to build memories. Some of my favorite and best times have been had with a book in hand. I still remember the reading party my Mom threw for me when I taught myself to read at 6 :) She had all my favorite librarians and dear friends over to celebrate, and they all brought brand new, fresh-smelling books to contribute to my collection. I felt so special that day.

    Wow. It's amazing how much your post brought up for me Jen! Jeez. I could write a novel on the subject. I love books! And how sweet of you to donate to My Boy's new teacher's classroom...I'm sure he'll appreciate them so much. Your kids are lucky to have parents that actually care and want to be involved in their education :)

  41. Carol said...

    I think somebody is about to become a certain teachers favourite.

    Good for you for doing that and benefitting all the kids.

  42. Debbie said...

    Isn't it great when you can give someone something you know they will appreciate? I did the same thing with art supplies for one of our schools and they went nuts. I had no use for them and it seemed like the right home for them.

  43. Insane Mama said...

    My kids are going to the same schools that I went to too, it's strange. A few years ago, they even had the same principal as me unti he quit

  44. Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

    What a great gift! I always ask parents to donate books to my classroom library. Giving children books are also a great Christmas gift because it is something the whole class can enjoy together!!

  45. Lindsay said...

    OO yay that is great that you can pass on those books to another teacher that needs them! It is sad that the schools have such a small budget and the teachers are expected to get all of these books on their own.

  46. Elaine A. said...

    I can't wait to hear how thankful he will be. You are so generous and thoughtful to do this!

  47. Clare said...

    Oh Jen, that was so nice of you. I was a 1/2nd grade teacher for five years, and I probably have over 5,000 titles in my basement. I don't know if I could part with any of them, but kudos to you for giving them for your son. i think i could do that. i think it is great that he is going to have a male teacher. i think there needs to be a lot more guy teachers out there! even if he doesn't have the supplies:) XO, clare

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