Greetings Oasis Reading Mentors!

Happy Mentor Monday, May 4th to you and I hope this communication finds you well and smiling.

The offering for this week includes a little silliness, a little beauty and The Giving Tree.

Since Tuesday this week is Giving Tuesday, May 5th, I thought it appropriate.

I frequently say “thank You” to all of my volunteers, because I am truly thankful for your time and talents so generously shared with our students. In my mind, giving is not limited to a day or an amount of money, but a spirit. In speaking with many of you, I have heard that by volunteering, by investing in our students, you have reaped the rewards of joy and purpose!

The Giving Tree

I am sharing two versions of  The Giving Tree, both read by Shel Silverstein. The original book was published in 1964 and sold for $2.50. A first edition copy now sells for $4,500. The book was recently updated for release to a new generation.  But it is not in the cost of the book that I find the value -it is the message.  “It is a poem that celebrates nature’s giving to mankind…reminding readers that happiness in life exits in the little things.” Many of our books in the library have strong messages of kindness, being different, acceptance and giving. Those books you will find in the section entitled  Feelings, Emotions and Inclusion.  When we return to our schools and students, I hope you will consider not only  the humorous or the current graphic books, but those stories with depth. Stories that embrace and celebrate a positive, giving spirit.

Safe Distance Student Contact

Many of you have reached out to the school and the teacher to determine how you can help your student with distance learning over the summer. A few of you are already sending packets, writing letters, taping reading, sharing books online through the library (Hoopla) or simply sending books to the student. Thank you. Remember all contact must be under the supervision of a teacher or parent/guardian both for the safety of the student and you. One of our volunteers recently reached out with her success.

About 8 weeks ago my fourth grade student, SS wrote a letter to her idol, Billie Eilish over a period of two tutoring sessions. She had made up a Q&A game and hoped that Billie would like it well enough to send her free tickets to a concert. We found an address on-line and after correcting the draft sent it off. I warned her that I wasn’t sure about the address and said maybe, maybe, we’d get a response.

Yesterday an envelope came to me addressed to SS, and I made contact with her teacher via email who wrote to SS’s mother. The family lives just a mile away, so I arranged a time to bring her the envelope, which we opened together (at an appropriate distance, of course). No tickets, but a nice photo and hand-written message.

I am attaching a photo/video (with written guardian approval) of a happy “client” opening the envelope. It was super to see SS and I reminded her how important it is to read every day!

Thank you for your support, your words of encouragement, for staying with the team, and for laughing with me!

Stay safe, be well, and happy reading.