Geauga Agencies Team Up to Give Books to Middlefield Students

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When Middlefield’s Cardinal Schools requested a donation to help get free books in the hands of every fifth through eighth grader in the district, the Geauga County Library Foundation was happy to join United Way Services of Geauga County, the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way, and Cardinal Middle School’s PTO to promote reading.

In late August, the GCLF approved a request to help purchase 350 copies of Wonder by R.J. Palacio as part of the school’s “One School, One Book” reading initiative. Wonder is the story of 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, born with extreme facial abnormalities and not expected to live through early childhood. Defying expectations, he went from being home schooled as a young child to entering a private Manhattan school as a fifth grader. He had to endure the taunting of his classmates while struggling to be seen as just another student, according to NoveList. The book is getting a lot of  attention at this time because it is also being released as a movie in November 2017.

“United Way Services of Geauga County is pleased to be able to contribute to this initiative,” says Kimm Leininger, Executive Director. “The book was chosen for its content to foster discussions on understanding the special needs of people and when necessary, be able to refer them to appropriate support services.” Family Pride of Northeast Ohio will be helping to facilitate discussions between the book and real life situations, as well as assisting anyone in need of special services.

“The library is always a supporter of reading and learning,” says GCLF trustee Barbara Reynolds. “Of course, we advocate for our county students to use the library, but there is also a need for children to own their own books and have a personal collection in their homes. Wonder is especially poignant right now, given that the movie is about to be released. Of course, the book will be better!”

The book was chosen in conjunction with the Positive Behavior Instructional Support initiative at Cardinal Schools, says Principal Andy Cardinal. “Kids need to see a perspective other than what they’re used to. Wonder is a vehicle to help people look at others for who they are and not what they look like. We’re teaching the same message to kids in the different grades, but with different approaches for the various ages. The message is to treat everyone with respect.”

The books are being delivered to Cardinal Schools in Middlefield in late September and will be used as part of the school-wide curriculum. “We’re happy to help the students in Middlefield,” says Ed Worso, GCPL Director. “Promoting literacy is one of our core missions.

We’re already partners with United Way as well as Cardinal Schools. It’s our pleasure to be a good neighbor.”

About the Geauga County Public Library

The Geauga County Public Library includes four full-service branches in Bainbridge, Chardon, Chesterland (Geauga West) and Middlefield; two library stations housed in schools in Newbury and Thompson; two Bookmobiles that serve rural areas and community centers; a Lobby Stop vehicle; a car for homebound patrons; and an administrative center where technical services, computer services, facilities and administrative functions reside. GCPL has more than 750,000 books and ebooks. The collection also contains more than 100,000 audio/video items and 400 research databases available through its website. GCPL is a member of the Clevnet consortium, giving patrons access to more than 12 million items. Learn more about the Geauga County Public Library at the GCPL website, Geauga County Public Library.

About the Geauga County Library Foundation

The Geauga County Library Foundation was chartered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Ohio in 1989 to inspire library programs and service by providing assistance to the Geauga County Public Library and to ensure that the public library system continues to meet the present needs of the community, as well as grow to meet future challenges. The Foundation’s goals are to improve the library collection; provide additional library services; offer reading enrichment programs; and sponsor cultural and educational programs.

Pictured In Cover Photo: The Geauga County Library Foundation, United Way Services of Geauga County, the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way, and the Cardinal Middle School PTO donated 350 copies of R.J. Palacio’s book Wonder to fifth to eighth graders in the Middlefield School District. Pictured left to right: Barbara Reynolds, trustee Geauga County Library Foundation; Ed Worso, Geauga County Library Director; Becki Gierman, Interim Director of the Geauga County Library Foundation; Kimm Leininger, Executive Director of United Way Services of Geauga County.

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