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September 19, 2020

Greenfield teacher hands out books to area youth

Reading opportunities remain in era of no classrooms, libraries

GREENFIELD — Families who drove up to Arroyo Seco Academy in Greenfield recently were able to pick up books to read during the government-ordered shutdown of schools, thanks to local teacher Janene Wendrick.

“They don’t have access to the library at this time, so I chose to open up my personal library that I have created as a teacher,” Wendrick said.

Any student who came up to her on select days in late March and early April was able to choose a book or ask her for a recommendation, and then got to keep the book.

“So far, they really like it and they’re excited,” she said.

In addition to being able to meet the reading needs of her own elementary students who come through, Wendrick said she had collected books of all grade levels over the years.

Of the many disruptions caused by shelter-in-place orders, one is reading time that was facilitated by schools or libraries. Handing out books provides an opportunity for young readers to re-engage with text.

“Students are able to read and it really helps them during this time to keep up with knowing their words, understanding how to read and continuing to learn,” Wendrick said.

Wendrick has been working on obtaining donations of more books, coordinating with her principal and figuring out what times work best as the school also hands out free meals, sometimes overlapping in time.

Sean Roney
Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers education, government and general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.