Posted by Michelle Dempsey, Book Specialist on November 10, 2016
We were honored and humbled by the incredible stories we received during our Share Your Story contest. To participate in the contest, we asked for customers to submit the 'story' of how their organization uses the books they buy in bulk. Our Book Specialists so enjoyed reading the many stories we received and, believe it or not, they discovered several unique ways that books are used that, even they, never imagined.
Mollie Reid, (yes, that’s pronounced READ, what are the odds?!), Educational Director at the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, submitted one such story that so inspired our team that she was selected as the winner of our $250 prize (for free books, of course!).
This wonderful organization serves to “provide extraordinary live theatre and interactive educational experiences for young audiences.” They pride themselves on inspiring young people to visualize their potential, enhance family relationships and invest in the future of their communities. The Oklahoma Children’s Theatre has a component to their program called, “Page to Stage.” This traveling, short-term workshop series, for Title I schools, focuses on literacy, comprehension, and reading for meaning. Each class brings a specific book to life through an on-stage performance, and even more, each student that participates receives a free copy of the book they’ve been working with.
Since the Fall of 2015, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre has ordered almost 2,000 copies of Judy Blume’s Freckle Juice for our outreach program… On the final visit of the program, we bring in actors to work with the students to put together a live performance of Freckle Juice. The students act alongside the actors to bring the story to life and after they take their final bow, every student is surprised with their very own copy of the book.
Shortly after Mollie ordered her books in bulk for the theater's most recent Page to Stage program, we received this beautiful and heartfelt testimonial:
After the performances on Friday, we surprise each student with their very own copy of the book we have been working on with them all week. They generally react with enthusiasm and immediately start flipping through the pages of their book to look at all the words and pictures. After one performance, at a school that had been a little harder to teach that week due to a lack of discipline, one of the students came up to me with his book in hand, made me sit down with him and started reading chapter one to him. I told him I was really impressed at how quickly he was picking it up. He said to me, "It's not so easy to read yet, but I just remember exactly how you read it to us and now I know the story!" To see a child who doesn't have an easy time reading open up a book without fear or hesitation is exactly the goal of this program. - Julia Waits
This story is a statement to the power of books and, we're sure, when you read Mollie's full story, you will agree, deserving to be the winning selection in our Share Your Story contest.
We plan to share more stories with you soon and encourage you to add your own story to the book on our site that you've purchased. We look forward to hearing how your organization uses books and the unique impact that they make. Our Book Specialists are available to help you find the perfect books for your audience...and to provide you with savings too.