Second and third graders at Chamberlin School listen as Superintendent David Young honors International Literacy Day by reading to them and emphasizing the importance of paying it forward.

Literacy and Students —Making a Change at Chamberlin

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Thursday September 25, 2014

Monday, September 8 marked the 48th anniversary of International Literacy Day. Chamberlin School took part in this wonderful celebration, whose goal is to increase awareness about the importance and benefits of literacy worldwide.

Chamberlin School Literacy Coach Laura Payson and School Librarian Cally Flickinger organized the Literacy Day activities. They wanted their students to understand that the way in which children receive their education differs all over the world, and some children and schools are not fortunate enough to have access to literature.

They invited three guest readers to join the students for the celebration. Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s read to the fourth and fifth graders and shared how we can all make a difference in the lives of children and reading around the world. Miss Meg, from the South Burlington Community Library, shared with the kindergartners and first graders how schools and children around the world are similar and different. Superintendent David Young read to the second and third graders and stressed the importance of sharing and “paying it forward.”

The teachers often talk with Chamberlin students about how we can make a difference in the world. They felt that International Literacy Day was the perfect opportunity for the school to do so. As a result, Chamberlin School has partnered with a sister elementary school, the Pula Madibogo Primary School, located in Sovegna, a town in the Limpopo province of South Africa. While the children in Sovegna have some books, they do not have enough. In working to collect and send the books, the group has learned that the biggest hurdle with sending books is in the cost of postage. Each box costs roughly $80 to ship. Their goal at Chamberlin is to raise enough money to be able to send the collected books to their sister school. Upon entering the building, families will find a “change jar.” It is their hope that students, their families, and staff members will continue to fill the jar with any loose change over the weeks to come, allowing them to ship more books.

As Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”