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Wheat MS Teachers Giving the Gift of a Story to the 699 Scholars on Their Christmas LIst

                Inspiring a love of reading is a shared goal of educators—no matter the grade or subject they teach.

                Such is the case at Wheat Middle School, where teachers sharing the gift of a story with the 699 students on their Christmas list.   

                “Our seventh grade team has always taken on a project at the holidays,” English teacher Sarah Moulden said. “This year we focused on student reading, with a plan to provide each one of our scholars with a book of their choosing. They have also selected a book to give to someone on their own Christmas lists.”

                The Wheat library has taken on the semblance of Santa’s workshop as teachers and staff have squeezed in time to sort and wrap books. With the aid of donations and the Wheat PTA, a wide assortment of books—59 different titles—for readers of all ages has been collected along with rolls—and rolls--of gift wrap.

                “We have board books for little ones, chapter books and anthologies which would be appropriate for a variety of readers,” Moulden said. “We know the power of a story—it can take you somewhere else or let you learn about someone else. We hope, in taking their books home and sharing them, it will give our scholars some quality time with someone dear to them.”

                The first delivery of books—1,200--arrived before the Thanksgiving break, which has since been followed by a second shipment.

                “It was like Christmas to us when they arrived,” Moulden said. “We had no idea what all we would be getting. It was very exciting.”

                While this will not be a surprise for students, it has boosted their excitement and anticipation of what is coming. The staff created a website in which students could go online and select their book, along with an alternate, in placing their order which will be filled by the team of Wheat Santas.

                “It has been very uplifting to see how excited the students get when picking out a book, not just for themselves, but also for a family member or friend,” social studies teacher Tyler Stone said. “Because of Covid-19, many of our traditional holiday events have been canceled. It has been nice to do something fun and festive, and I think the students have appreciated it, too.”

                “This project has been such a great thing for our team,” math teacher Allyson House said. “We have all stepped in and taken ownership in various ways. Our book display in the library has sparked interest and curiosity with the students—which has been a pleasure to watch.”

                Members of Student Council, National Junior Honor Society and other student organizations have also helped with the project as sorters and wrappers. All the Wheat scholars will receive their gifts the last week of school before the start to Christmas vacation.