A Gift of Charlotte’s Web

When Sydney’s mother asked me if she could get every child in the class a copy of Charlotte’s Web, I was speechless.

“Scholastic has the book for a dollar this month.  It’s really not much”, she said.

Not much?  Are you kidding?  One dollar might not be much, but putting a book in the hands of each child, a book they adore, is priceless.

The books arrived.  I was beside myself.  I just sat and held all the books.  It was a treasure. You see, I knew that giving each child the book would be far more than chapter reading.  It would be ownership.  Their very own copy.  Not a book in the house or in the library, but their book.

Next, I distributed the books to children so that they could feel and turn the pages of their book.  Of course, everyone wanted to find the pictures, which led to great conversations and memories of our chapter reading many months ago.  We had to take a group photo!

Then, Sydney and I sat together to write a letter that would go inside of every book.  Sydney signed it, of course.

In the words of E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”  Thank you, Sydney.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in chapter reading, Early Education, Imagination, reading, reading aloud and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to A Gift of Charlotte’s Web

  1. magarisa says:

    Wow, what a wonderful gift!

  2. Darlene says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. What a thoughtful gift. The children will never forget this. I still have the copy of the BobbseyTwins in Mexico my grade three teacher gave me all those years ago.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Darlene. It will be one of my greatest classroom moments. The Bobbsey Twins! I loved those books. You remember getting that book from your third grade teacher. Perhaps my preschoolers will have a memory, at least from their families. At the least, they will remember the book.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    What a nice gesture 🙂

  4. What a wonderful gift! ❤

  5. What a special day that must have been! You look pleased as punch to have your arms filled with treasures for the kids. Such a great lesson for Sydney, too. She’ll always remember how wonderful it felt to give books to her classmates. Lovely post, as always!

    • Jennie says:

      It was wonderful, Marcia. I think Sydney will perhaps remember this most of all. When I emailed her mother today to say thank you, she replied that she should be thanking me. She said she would never have chapter read her young children, if it hadn’t been for me, and that they were ready to read Charlotte’s Web for the third time. It doesn’t get any better than that!

  6. Marvelous heartwarming post, Jennie. Hugs

  7. Such a true to life ‘feel good’ event! I got goosebumps reading this.
    Also enjoyed seeing you holding the bounty – and kiddos in the group pix.
    Sydney gets to see firsthand the fruits of ‘giving’; sweet.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Laura. Yes, I was like a child at Christmas when the books arrived. So we’re the children! I think Sydney will remember this day. I certainly will!

  8. Di says:

    Hi Jennie,
    What a kind gesture from Sydney. We can never tell how much of a positive ripple effect this will have on the children but I’m sure it will stay with them for a long time. A wonderful book too.
    Thank you for this great post 🌸🌟

  9. monalisa says:

    Stunning, what a great gift!…What a decent motion…

  10. beetleypete says:

    I think this idea should be widely promoted. We could all look for discounted books online, and make a similar donation to a local school. I can’t think of a better way to get youngsters reading, than having their own special book.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      It is a wonderful idea. My charity is Read Aloud West Virginia. They do just that, and send volunteers to read aloud at elementary schools. Imagine if there was more of this, like you said. T’would be wonderful. Best to you, Pete.

      • beetleypete says:

        I applied to be a ‘Reading Helper’ to children at the local library. I have time on my hands, and thought it would be a good thing to do. Sadly, my application was rejected, as I was considered to be ‘too old’. They don’t like the association of older men around young children, it appears, and suspected my motives, obviously. They told me they were looking for helpers ‘preferably in their late teens’. Sad, how society has come to fear such contact, because of the actions of a few.

      • Jennie says:

        I remember that post well! Awful that they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. 🙁

  11. What a beautiful gift to each child, just perfect.. And how wonderful.. 🙂 So happy for you and ALL of your class.. 🙂 Happy Reading.. ❤ xxx

  12. What a treat, Jennie! Great photos of everyone with their books. Thanks to Sydney and her family!

  13. sportsattitudes says:

    A very, very thoughtful gesture and gift. Indeed Jennie, book ownership certainly has to make a big impression and difference. The group photo is wonderful. A little bit of wonder for sure. Loved this.

  14. How lovely for someone to do that for the whole class. We gave all my daughter’s books to the classroom library. We traveled light in those days and kept almost nothing Just passed it on. I think that’s why my house has hoards of books now and so do my adult children. I loved the Bobbsy Twins too. 🙂

  15. Smiling, smiling, smiling!

  16. This is wonderful Jennie! I will always remember the first book I owned and so will these children! 😄

  17. reocochran says:

    This mother is a special and wonderful, kind parent and friend of the classroom, Jennie! What a wondrous gift. It makes my heart full of joy to remember my favorite parents who thought of their own unique ways to contribute to our classroom. Wow! Big smiles and a hug to my teaching friend, too. ❤

  18. This actually brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful gift! 🙂

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