On Friday, October 29, students at Gladstone Elementary School received a number of treats to kick off their weekend.
Representatives from the RI Teachers’ Federation (RIFT), Cranston Teachers Alliance (CTA) and the Cranston School Department joined the Gladstone Elementary School community to distribute two books, masks, bookmarks and other goodies to Gladstone students, using books from the organization First Book. Kona Ice stood ready to welcome the students outside, handing them out a refreshing treat.
Frank Flynn, president of RIFT, explained that he was contacted this summer by an AFT representative offering nearly $ 10,000 to be used in Title I schools in conjunction with First Book to create an opportunity to donate. to students of new books from First Book. Flynn reached out to CTA President Liz Larkin to see how to use some of the donations at Cranston Public Schools and host a launch event at Gladstone School, Cranston’s largest Title I school, with subsequent events in each of Cranston’s Title I schools. after. Larkin contacted Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse, who fully supported him.
On October 29, as the students entered the school auditorium, they were greeted by the sight of two tables loaded with colorful books for all ages and interests. They squirmed in excitement in their seats and reacted with surprise and audible gasps of joy when Larkin announced that not only would each student be allowed to choose two books to take home that day, but that the books were theirs.
“The kids are so excited for these books to be theirs,” Larkin said. She noted how grateful she was not only to those at AFT and RIFT for choosing Title I schools in Cranston for the donation of the first book, but also to her representatives from the local CTA team who were there that day to help with the event. She particularly highlighted the excellent work done by the event organizers, Kathy Torregrossa and CTA Vice-President John Thompson.
“They worked with Frank [Flynn] and ordered 4,700 pounds, ”she said. “We are very happy to give back to the community. “
Dates for other Title I school events will be announced shortly. Title I schools are defined by the percentage of low-income families enrolled in the school.