Ella White partners up on NIE Book Sale

Students, staff and parents at Ella White Elementary School have taken up the challenge to assist with the annual Newspapers in Education Book Sale sponsored annually by The Alpena News.

Since school resumed after the holidays, students in classrooms at Ella White have agreed to collect used books from home and bring them to the school for donation to the newspaper’s book sale. Once the sale is over, newspaper staff members will hold a celebration at the school as a thank-you for the collection efforts.

“We’re just thrilled to participate,” said Ella White Principal Melissa Schaedig. “If community members want to bring books here, they can come and drop them off at the Fourth Street entrance.”

The book drive at the school runs Jan. 20-31. The Alpena News also is accepting donations of books from the general public now through the end of the month. The NIE Book Sale is slated for Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the APlex.

Newspapers in Education is a nationally recognized program that involves The Alpena News supplying a number of area classrooms with newspapers that are used for educational purposes. Proceeds from the book sale make operating the NIE program possible.

Besides Ella White, local schools that benefit from the NIE program include Lincoln, Besser, Wilson and Sanborn Elementary Schools, Alpena High School, Thunder Bay Junior High School, ACES Academy, Bingham Arts Academy, Hillman High School and Posen High School.

Among teachers at Ella White who use the newspaper as an educational tool is fifth grade teacher Bob Thomson. His class incorporates the newspaper into their instructional time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each week.

Last Monday, as part of their regular writer’s workshop activities, Thomson’s students examined an article about two youth who were recognized as Students of the Month in Rogers City.

“We’re working on prompt writing,” Thomson said, explaining that the assignment was for his students to come up with what the criteria might look like for being named a Student of the Month at Ella White.

“We use the newspaper as free read and as a model or mentor text,” Thomson said. “If we’re writing an opinion piece, then we will look for an editorial in the paper. Our weather person at the school also uses the paper to announce the weather.”

A number of other classrooms at Ella White also use the newspaper for educational purposes. Thomson’s class receives all of the copies delivered to the school and then distributes them around the school.

Alpena News Circulation Manager Ken Pokorzynski said he and the rest of the staff at the newspaper are pleased to have Ella White as this year’s partner school.

“We are extremely appreciative of the Ella White administration and staff for jumping on board with the book drive,” Pokorzynski said. “Each year we count on a local school in the area to help us make the NIE Book Sale the successful event it has become. We extend our sincere thanks as well to all of the students and their families who willingly donate books they no longer want or need so that others in turn can enjoy them.”

To date, hundreds of different books from generous people in the community have been dropped off at the newspaper office. They span every category from romance novels and cookbooks to bestseller hardbounds and children’s books.

“The Book Sale has grown every year, and we are always surprised to see how many books are donated by the public,” Pokorzynski said. “Last year over 10,000 books were given to us for the sale. The hundreds of people who turned out for the Book Sale went home as satisfied customers with some great finds and a fresh supply of reading material at extremely reasonable prices.”

Anyone wanting to donate additional items to the sale may bring them to the newspaper office during regular business hours. The office is located at 130 Park Place, across from Alpena County Library.

For more information about the upcoming sale, call Pokorzynski or Lifestyles Editor Diane Speer at 354-3111.