2016 was another successful year for the Jump$tart Reading Days program. In total we had 20 volunteers, made up of three Mayors, 16 City Council Members and one City Manager. We were able to get 14 of the volunteers scheduled to read around the state. We had volunteers from 11 different cities around Washington. A few of the participating schools combined entire grades together so more students could attend the readings. One of our volunteers read to 140 students in his one visit! Another volunteer had scheduled two readings because he had enjoyed last year’s Reading Day so much. Several of our volunteers were repeat volunteers from last year and were so excited to have been given the opportunity to go into their communities again for this program.
As voted on by the Jump$tart Board, the chosen book for this year was “Lilly Learns about Wants and Needs.” In the story, Lilly is telling her parents about all the things she needs, not realizing those things are actually wants, such as a better bike, ice cream, and an expensive raincoat. While learning the difference between the two concepts, she also learns that even though she may need something, sometimes the lower priced option works just as well as the most expensive option. The book came with a guided activity that most teachers took advantage of in their classrooms. The activity prompted the students to make a chart on a piece of paper, labeling ¾ of the paper “Needs” and ¼ “Wants.” Students would then draw pictures of things they needed and wanted in the correct sections of their chart. The activity was a good visual reference for the students to see that needs take up a majority of one’s budget leaving them to choose their wants carefully. The book was well accepted by most classes, but there was some feedback that is was too young for the 4th and 5th grade classes.
When looking for participants for this year’s program, we started with
past participants. Volunteer readers from last year were sent a separate email thanking them for their time last year and inviting them back this year. Half of our readers this year were repeat volunteers from last year. Last year’s participating teachers were also contacted as soon as someone in their area volunteered to read. Teachers were also excited to have the opportunity once again. Several teachers were already teaching a financial unit in their classes or found a way to integrate the story into their current lessons so the story was aligned with class lessons. Over 300 students were reached!
Below is a list of this year’s participants:
- Ellensburg City Councilwoman Nancy Lillquist- Mt. Stuart Elementary School, Trina Lanegan’s 3rd grade class
- Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent-West Hills STEM Academy, Mary Anne Craig and Racheal Chamberlain’s 3rd grade classes
- Bothell City Councilman James McNeal-Moorlands Elementary School, Cindy Kaufman’s 2nd grade class
- Vancouver City Councilwoman Alishia Topper- Anderson Elementary School, Kristine Barnes’s 3rd grade class
- Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland- Franklin Elementary School, Kim Hunter’s 3rd grade class and Missy Burkey’s 2nd grade class
- Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart- Roosevelt Elementary School, LaTonya Simmons and Justine Hudson’s 1st grade class
- Vancouver City Councilman Bill Turlay- Walnut Grove Elementary School, Veena Girod’s 5th grade class and Jana Kandoll’s 4th grade class
- Longview City Councilman Mike Wallin- Northlake Elementary School, Kristi Hannan’s 1st grade class
- Kent City Councilman Jim Berrios- Kent Elementary School, Lynn Wells’s 3rd grade class
- Yakima City Councilwoman Carmen Mendez- Barge Lincoln Elementary School, Jorge Campos’s 2nd grade class
- Puyallup City Councilman Dean Johnson-Meeker Elementary School, All 5th grade classes
- Vancouver City Councilwoman Anne McEnerny-Ogle-Franklin Elementary School, Liz Coleman’s 5th grade class
The challenges faced this year were similar to the challenges in last year’sprogram. But, where there were challenges, we also had a very successful program this year and got all positive feedback from the volunteers and the teachers. Many volunteers and teachers asked to be included in next year’s program as well. All of the volunteers were city officials who took a great interest in helping the kids in their cities. One very heartfelt story from a participating teacher in Vancouver:
“Thank you for checking in about our Reading Day, it was a wonderful experience!...There was a little time at the end and she asked the students if they wanted to do an activity or "just talk". They all wanted to "just talk". Students were able to ask questions about her youth, her involvement in sports and how that lead to a scholarship. She answered many questions about affordable housing and what is available to families in need. One student shared with her that he had been homeless until the very night before she came. Through our Family Resource Center the family is now in a house and he is excited to be sleeping in his own bunk bed. These issues are close to our hearts and it was a joy for students (and me) to have the honor to meet someone who works so hard for our city. Thank you for letting us be a part!”