JAMESTOWN – Local school students finished out the year by planting a “Wishtree,” based on a book that the elementary kids spent the academic year reading.
Lincoln Elementary School’s Principal Katie Russo says the curriculum took place at every elementary school in the district, as well as the tree planting ceremony.
“Our district participated in One District One Book, so all five of our elementary schools read the same book, the Wishtree,” explained Russo.
The Wishtree focuses on a tree and how it interacts with the habitat around it, featuring plenty of lessons to take away. A point that Russo believes instills lessons upon all who read it, no matter their age.
“Just learning about trees, and the habitat, and animals,“ Russo explains. “But it also went into other topics like acceptance and tolerance of folks who might be different. We really chose this book because it spanned so many interesting topics and it really appealed to kids of all ages.”
On Tuesday, students, alongside City Arborist Dan Stone, planted a Red Oak, “Wishtree”, out front of the school as a symbol of what they learned, and a sense of pride.
“I like to instill some community pride and ownership with the kids in it,“ stated Stone. “They will hopefully be able to bring their kids back and say hey I planted this tree, or maybe their grandkids back and say hey I planted this tree. Maybe they’ll start up a conversation at home and hey can we have a tree in our yard, and trees are fantastic. For what they provide for us and the environment, I think it’s a great thing and it gives the kids a sense of ownership and sense of community pride.”
Reading the page turner himself, Stone believes that the story benefits all who delve into the book.
“I thought it was a great book,” stated Stone. “I sat down after the Memorial day parade in the shade of a tree and read the book and couldn’t put it down. It was funny, it was Inspiring, and it had a lot of lessons inside of it.”
While the book taught children of all ages about the environment and acceptance, many school leaders believe in the power of reading, and how it can change one’s life.