From A to Z literally

  • From A to Z—Literally

    Passing of the Book at Cherry Avenue

    (Click on the links below the photos to view the videos of the Book-Passing event.)

     Neither planned nor predicted, it was a true “coincidence!” This coincidence made the  already exciting Grand Opening of the Cherry Avenue new library/media center even more amazing.

     When Cherry Avenue Principal Dr. John Stimmel organized the transition from the old library to the new library/media center with his librarian and staff, they conferred on many things: How would the students participate? Should they move the very first book or the very last book? What day would they hold the event? Who would they invite, and who would cut the ribbon?

     With the preparation and cooperation of Cherry Avenue staff, especially Librarian Mrs. McDermott, Mrs. George, library clerk, and temp Librarian Ms. Simpson, it was decided to involve all 437 Cherry Avenue students in the passing of the last book to the new library.

     It was also decided a Fifth-grade student would be the first and a Kindergartener would be the last, but no one specifically picked the two students who would begin and end the process.

     On the appointed day, Cherry Avenue Principal Dr. John Stimmel announced over the loudspeaker. “Today is a very special day and a very exciting day! For the very first time, we are going to open our brand new library/media center for everyone! And everyone is going to get to help.”

     Dr. Stimmel explained that Cherry Avenue staff and parent volunteers had been busy moving all the books to the new location in anticipation of opening day. “We’ve taken out all the A’s, the B’s, the C’s, all the way up. And now we have the very last book: The Z Was Zapped! And everyone is going to help move it.”

     He instructed the students to line up by grade throughout the halls and form a human chain from the old library, starting with the Fifth graders in descending order to the Kindergarteners, who assembled outside the new library. The book would be passed from hand to hand until its destination. Once the ribbon was cut and the doors were opened, the Z book would be handed over and each class would file through the new library for a “first” look at the now restocked library/media center.

     Mrs. Elizabeth Denton’s Fifth-grade was the first to arrive at the almost empty old library and the students shuffled about as they lined up—in random order. On the other end of the human chain, Ms. Nina Biao’s Kindergarten class was the last to gather at the new site. They too lined up randomly. Upon Dr. Stimmel’s signal, the book-passing began. All along the line, students were laughing, chanting “Let’s go book!”, and dancing in anticipation and with enthusiasm as the last book slipped through their hands on its journey to the new location.

     Upon entering their new library, the students were wide eyed with wonder, squealing in surprise and awe as they paraded through the doors for a brief glimpse. Also enjoying the student’s  reactions, many Central Office Administrators on hand for this historic celebration were Superintendent Dr. Walter Schartner, Assistant Superintendent John Belmonte, Deputy Superintendent (and former Cherry Avenue Principal) Dr. Geri Sullivan Keck (who also happened to ask the last Kindergartner his name), along with Board of Education President Raymond Nelson, Coordinator of Instructional Technology Barbara Hall, and Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Stephen Koepper.  Everyone was delighted by the whole celebration.

     Yet, it wasn’t until the event was over that the genuine coincidence was revealed: Aiden  had been the first to pass the book to his classmates, and Zachary carried the book into the library and handed it over to Mrs. George sitting at the desk.

     The passing of the book had literally been completed A to Z!

     Now, there’s one for the storybooks! 


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