Above: A school assembly celebrates the Pennies for Pages accomplishments.
For the past four months Nishuane students have been reading… and reading… and reading, all the while raising money for The Montclair Public Library. Through its clever “Pennies for Pages” program in conjunction with the School’s Action Team for Partnership, students read 33,444 books and 70,031 pages which, at a penny per page, added up to a $700.31 donation to the Library.
The Pennies for Pages program, chaired by Nishuane teachers Jenna Fragale and Kerry Goldsack, set out a variety of activities to encourage kids to read more, read more often and become more fluent. Some of these inspiring activities included: Make YOUR mark bookmark creation, Reading Rocks poster creation, classroom author visits, classroom read-ins, home read-ins,an evening of teacher-led parent reading workshops and more. Over the span of the program, both kids and their parents logged what books were read and dropped a penny in their classroom's jar for each chapter or book.
Pennies for Pages began three years ago when Assistant Principal Jill McLaughlin, then a first grade teacher, brought the idea to her classroom. It has since blossomed into an annual school-wide event. "I am so proud of the students not only for their achievement in reading and their involvement with our community service provider the Montclair Public Library, but also for their excitement for and engagement in reading and all of the reading related activities with the Pennies for Program this year!” she said. “This was truly a project of our Nishuane School community with participation from families, staff, the library and children."
Montclair Library Director David Hinkley said he was proud to accept the donation from the dedicated students. “It is incredibly inspiring to see the excitement that this program has generated for children’s literacy within our community. We are, of course, grateful for the donation and hope we can maintain the momentum of that excitement here at the Library over the summer.”