Ever wonder how the 1st Grade Book Swap came to be? It all started five years ago in one classroom when 18 first grade students wanted to help make a difference in the lives of others. They were inspired in 2015 by a tough situation — students wanted to show a meaningful act of support when the husband of MICDS Teaching Associate Ms. Nicole Skaggs passed away.
After learning about Ms. Skaggs’ lending library and about the importance of giving back to the community, the students were inspired to help stock the library. “The kind act truly grew from the heart of the kids,” shares 1st Grade Teacher Ms. Veronica Wachter. From that year onward, a book swap has benefited the lending library in Highland Park of Richmond Heights. It has also grown in its impact, supporting other schools in the area like Dewey School and Cool Valley Elementary, Head Start programs and hospitals. Some books have even gone across the ocean with our Upper Schoolers on global learning trips in Africa!
Once again, everyone in Beasley was invited to bring in as many gently used books as possible. Books were collected in the 1st grade classrooms and in tubs in the Beasley Hallway. On the final day of the drive, each Beasley student took one book home that was new to them, and the extra books will be donated to other schools and to Ms. Skaggs’ lending library.
This year, the 5th graders who began the 1st Grade Book Swap helped current first graders sort the books. A remarkable 1,276 books were collected for the 5th annual 1st Grade Book Swap, surpassing the goal of 1,200.
As the tradition continues, there’s hope that it will expand even more and grow in impact each year. Ms. Wachter connected the 1st Grade Book Swap to the MICDS Mission of living lives of purpose and service: “Students at six and seven years old are learning to appreciate what they have, see life outside of their own community and know that what they do at six and seven years old really matters.”
We can’t wait to see how the 1st Grade Book Swap grows in its continued efforts to help those in need and in helping the environment in the many years to come! Thank you to each and every student and family who contributed to this year’s swap!