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Student teacher surprises first graders with ‘Home Library Project’

Alissah Paquette chose the ‘Home Library Project’ as her action research assignment.
More than 1,000 books are going to first graders at one school in Central Maine over the next...
More than 1,000 books are going to first graders at one school in Central Maine over the next two years.(Alissah Paquette)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT
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OAKLAND, Maine (WABI) - First graders at a school in Central Maine are growing their home libraries thanks to the thoughtfulness of one student-teacher.

“Over the past year, especially with COVID-19, we didn’t necessarily have as much access to books and stories and libraries,” said student-teacher and Thomas College Senior, Alissah Paquette.

The gift of literacy.

That’s what Paquette, gave her group of first graders.

The 21-year-old began student-teaching at Ralph Atwood Primary School in Oakland at the beginning of the year.

With school closures and remote learning, Alissah knew that student literacy may be impacted.

That’s why she chose the ‘Home Library Project’ as her action research assignment.

“Through community support, 1,200 books were able to be purchased, giving each first grader at the Ralph Atwood Primary School ten books,” she said.

Those books of high interest to students will be given out over the next two years.

The Home Library Project will give 120 young readers a home library to share with their own families.

“The books was just was a way to help and to engage families, and to engage parents,” she said.

Research shows that access to books, especially in the home, increases literacy skills.

Alissah says she’s happy to offer an enriching experience for students.

“It’s exciting, and it was even more exiting to see and hear the feedback from that project,” said Paquette.

Alissah will graduate from Thomas College this weekend.

She’ll begin her own career as a teacher at a school in Central Maine this fall.

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