Delivery Day! Meaningful Messages Now in the Hands of Maple Grove Students

It’s delivery day at Maple Grove Elementary. Instructional coach Fran Beavers is going room to room with boxes and carts andtudents are taking their best guess as to what’s inside. 

“I thought it was going to be a class pet,” one student said. 

“I thought it was a Venus flytrap,” added another.

While those would be cool, the delivery was even cooler. New books going to eager hands. 

“I can’t wait to see the look in their eyes when they see these beautiful books,” said Beavers. “They are library quality. These are beautiful books, with beautiful characters.”

The books also feature very important lessons. 

“An area that we saw we had an opportunity to grow in is the books that our students have access to,” says Beavers. “We really want our kids to see themselves in the books, see their family structure, see their gender, see their racial identity.”

“We are recognizing the differences, knowing that they are there. Not just acknowledging them but we are talking about them,” adds Lance McGregor, associate at Maple Grove.  “Bringing those books in is going to help a lot of kids.” 

Fourth grade teacher Alissa Beisner has always believed in books. Her class library is already impressive. This delivery only adds to the lesson she hopes her students are learning.

“Giving the students examples of how their voice can potentially impact others in a positive way is just the biggest piece that teachers can give,” says Beisner.  “Even bigger than just their life themselves, outside of the community as well, their impact can be huge.”

“I am impressed with the learning and growth that our staff has been engaged in,” says Liz Griesel, assistant principal at Maple Grove. “For their kids to become teachers for humanity and how excited they’ve been to engage in work around identity and supporting kids in that learning.” 

This project is an investment from everyone. Teachers, students and the entire Maple Grove community.

“To have the gift of the PTO giving them money and not just picking out three books, but an entire box full. They all fit within this category of helping kids learn and grow about themselves. It’s crazy, I don’t think it’s ever going to happen again, says Griesel.

After catching up with a couple of students, the books are a huge hit.

“I enjoy reading. I like reading new books and seeing what would happen because it kind of inspires my life,” says 4th grader Emmanuel Antony.

Every single classroom at Maple Grove will have a library lift this week. New messages, new characters, new dreams, for everyone.

“Once they see themselves, they just take off,” says Beisner. “Certain authors, certain genres, they just dig in completely. That engagement is huge.”