Ashland Reads is a club literacy project focusing on first-grade students in the five elementary schools in the Ashland School District. It is partially funded by a district grant in collaboration with Friends of the Library, TreeHouse Books, and the Ashland Interact Club.
Six colorful high quality hard-covered books were chosen and delivered to first-grade teachers in the fall to be read to all first grade students over the winter. Each first grader was asked to choose his or her favorite book. All of the first graders came together in a celebration of literacy on May 9, 2018, at the Ashland High School Mountain Avenue Theater where they received their chosen book with a personalized bookplate. The books came in a book bag with other special gifts. The book bags displayed the graphics for the primary sponsors of the program. The Interactors at the high school acted out a fairy tale told by John Alden of Springfield, John Jorgesen founded the program in 1999 to honor his wife described in the tale as the “Good Queen Sue.”
Children’s musician Tish McFadden of RumTum Music had written three special songs for the program including “Inside a Book.” . She was honored to serve as co-MC with Sarah Grulikowski, Rotaract.
Rotarians and Rotaractors dress as story book characters, direct traffic, help distribute the book bags to the students, and along with other community volunteers, cheerleaders and Interactors serve as “guest readers” in small groups, Ashland Police and Ashland Fire and Rescue come together to barbecue hot dogs and serve lunch.
146 Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, SOU Honors College Students and community members came together to organize and present the celebration for the first graders
The second and third graders ach receive two soft cover books in their classrooms after the first grade celebration.
Darrell Boldt and Cheryl Briggs were co-chairs of this committee.