As we are heading into our final days of the fundraiser, I wanted to spotlight fantastic books related to our theme “Around the World.” As we did last year, PTO will be giving out prizes to a few lucky Geckos, and again Heidi McCormick, the PTO treasurer, and I have prepared 14 buckets filled with awesome books and other prizes! There are two buckets per grade level, although students can try to win any bucket they want. Two of our buckets feature Spanish language books, and one mega prize is a bucket containing the ENTIRE HARRY POTTER SERIES! Students can earn raffle tickets by participating in activities around the theme and helping to raise funds for their school! There’s still time for students to earn more raffle tickets!
Even if your child doesn’t bring home a book bucket, I hope you check out some of the books we’ve included. A couple of buckets feature bundles available by Scholastic. At the higher level, we have books bundled as “Diverse Stories” including The Gold Cadillac by Mildred D. Taylor and Hachiko Waits by Lesléa Newman. At the lower level, books in “Diverse Picture Books” include Mama, Do you Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse and Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott. These Scholastic book bundles are very affordable. Students can work on their literacy skills as well as learn about different cultures—a win-win all around!
Just as we did last year, our family donated a bucket of some of our favorite books. We included the Julie of the Wolves trilogy by the prolific author of children’s literature, Jean Craighead George and The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley. Older readers (4th and above) can read these books on their own, or parents can read them to younger children. I believe I read these books to my sons when they were 5 and 7, and they worked great. Julie of the Wolves tells the story of a teenaged girl who is both Eskimo and American. She lives in Alaska and gets lost in the tundra when she runs away from home. She manages to befriend a band of wolves, who adopt her and help her to survive. Although I had to skip a few pages in the first book that detailed Julie’s unfortunate domestic situation, the rest of the trilogy was fantastic for our family reading. The boys were especially transfixed by the details that told of the wolves’ behavior and way of life. The Egypt Game is at a similar reading level but with a different urban setting. A group of children from various ethnic backgrounds become friends over an invented game of Egyptian goddesses and ceremonies. Through the process, they learn about one another and themselves.
We’ve also included many geography- and science-themed books. The series called “Where is…” and “Learning about My World” look really fun and appropriate for readers in the first to third grades. A couple of great atlases are up for grabs: First Atlas for lower grades and The Atlas Obscura for upper grades. Finally, the mega prize is the book bucket containing the entire Harry Potter series. The PTO decided to splurge on this one, because we couldn’t just include a few books in the series. Given that these books turned an entire generation of young people into readers, we wanted one VERY LUCKY Gecko to have them all!
Best of luck to all of our students as turn their fundraising efforts into precious raffle tickets for these fabulous prizes. If you want to support our students or if you found this post useful, please give to our fundraiser at https://www.givemn.org/organization/Greenvale-Park-Elementary-Pto
Sun Hee Lee