Time to time, we like to check in with the teachers who have participated in our Swap4Schools book donation program. In the few short months we’ve been running this campaign, Swap fans have donated thousands of much-needed books to teachers in nearly every state (thank you!). With the school year coming to a close, we’d like to highlight another teacher with a great story tell.
This month we talk to Lauren Skilling, a teacher from Moultonborough, New Hampshire (that’s her adorable kindergarten class in the photo to the left) to learn little bit more about her experience with Swap4schools.
Swap: Where and what do you teach? How long have you been a teacher?
Lauren Skilling: I teach kindergarten at Moultonborough Central School, in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. This is my fifth year teaching, but it is my second year teaching kindergarten.
Swap: What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher?
LS:I love that each day I come in to school to see little faces looking at me with eagerness and a desire to learn new things. Their smiles of success are priceless.
Swap: How did you hear about the Swap4Schools initiative? Are you already a regular swapper?
LS: I heard about Swap4Schools from Jeff Bennett. I was not a regular swapper, but when Jeff explained the program to me, I was eager to become a member.
Q. How many donations did you receive? What have been some of your favorites so far?
LS: My class has received six book donations so far. I am still new to the process, but was pleasantly surprised when a package arrived that I thought would be one book, but instead had five books. Such a treat! Most of the books that I have listed on my want list accompany a science program that I was recently trained in, and so it is wonderful to have great books to read as part of the lessons.
Swap: What has been the impact of the donations in your classroom and your school?
LS: I hadn’t planned on telling my students about the program, but when our first book arrived the day after Earth Day it seemed very fitting to explain how the book had come to us. The kids were so excited to learn that people we did not know wanted to add to our classroom library, and that the book had come all the way from Colorado. The arrival of the book led to further discussion about the importance of reusing and reducing. When the second package arrived the kids were beyond excited to see what the books were, to read them, and to learn where they had come from. And the fact the California was even further away made them even happier.
My students also enjoy writing a thank you note to the person who donates to us. It is a great way to reinforce their writing skills, but also allows us to express our gratitude for these kind donations.
Swap: What do you think the possibilities of a program like this are – For schools, for students, and for others?
LS: I think this program is a wonderful way for people to take things they no longer find a use for and put them to good use. Today many schools are facing budget cuts, and this program provides teachers with an additional means of gathering goods that will positively impact their students’ learning without having to ask for additional funds from the school.
As a relatively new teacher of young learners, who learn considerably from having books read to them, it is awesome to have a means of increasing my classroom library without my own out of pocket expense.
Ever since receiving our first donation, I have spread the word about Swap4Schools. I have been encouraging the teachers that I work with, as well as teachers I take courses with, to participate in this program. I think the possibilities for this program are huge, and I think it will grow to be a very powerful resource for teachers.
Behind each donation, is a great story and we aim to let those stories be heard. If you’re a teacher, librarian, administrator or a donor who wants to tell you’re Swap4Schools story, we’d love to hear them. You can write them in the comments below, or share them on our Facebook Wall.