- Sponsorship -

Community’s Gift: A Book for Every First-Grader

Volunteers Flood Schools to Read, Give Away Books

At the Congress Elementary School library, volunteer reader Alexis Rangel of Lake Michigan Credit Union delved into the magic of Caldecott Medalist’s Dan Santat newest book, “After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again.” She then gave the newly published, sumptuous hardback to every first-grade student.

The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation, the fundraising partner of Grand Rapids Public Schools, orchestrated the reading and free distribution of the book to all 1,750 first-graders at 27 GRPS elementary schools this week.

First-grader Oliver Spaulding eagerly dives into his new book on the floor of the school library

“‘After the Fall’ is a wonderful story about grit, getting back up and persevering when things aren’t going your way,” said Michele Suchovsky, executive director of the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation.

A retired first-grade teacher underwrites the “Good Things Happen to Readers” book giveaway, now in its fourth year. The books are purchased at a discount from Schuler Books & Music.

A bevy of volunteers — including retired teachers, business people, community leaders and parents – gave the equivalent of a warm hug by visiting every school to read and give away the book.

Congress Principal Erek Kooyman knows that reading a book to someone else is hugely important to enjoying the story. As if on cue, first-grader Brooklyn Riley confided in Kooyman: “I’m going to read this to my brother when I get home.”


Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation

- Sponsorship -



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

- Sponsorship -

Issues in Education

Social justice, perseverance top the year’s biggest lessons

All this week, students, teachers, parents and administrators reflect on what a year of living through the pandemic has been like for them...

SNN Editorial

Gauging the fallout from the pandemic on learning

While parents and educators use assessments to determine many kinds of student learning, a local researcher urges caution with testing from the pandemic year...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You Live WGVU