During the run of Sideways Stories from Wayside School, we held a book drive to benefit the Peaslee Neighborhood Center and the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati. We collected over 200 books!
A few weeks ago, several staff members visited Peaslee’s Child Development Center to read books and spend time with some of the kids there. We all had a blast and didn’t want to come back to work! Below are some photos and stories from our afternoon at Peaslee.
“One of the best things about going there was the reception we got from the kids. They seemed so excited to have visitors and they were so ready to engage with us whether through building with blocks, jamming on air guitars or reading a book. These are children who are part of our neighborhood. The book drive was a great way to connect locally and give back, but being there in person to interact with those we aimed to help through the drive, that was extra special.” – John Schratwieser
“The most incredible thing to witness when we visited the Peaslee Center was how welcoming the kids were. We were not just adults coming in to read them a story for a little while, we were their new best friends. It was awesome! They showed us how to properly rock out, during a very impromtu “Building Blocks jam session” (Complete with 2X4 guitar solos and the widest range of song selection the universe has ever known). We built a racetrack for cars that could fly, airplanes that couldn’t, and buildings taller than the pre-schoolers themselves. When we finally did sit down and read a few storybooks with the kids, we had all established a connection with these students making the storytime the perfect end to a fantastic play date. It is a wonderful program in the community and I’m so glad we were able to stop by and be a part of it all.” – Becky Heldt
Sadie Bowman (pictured above) was unavailable for comment because she was spinning around on the floor in an endlessly righteous wailing guitar solo of “The We Will Song” and attempts to reach her from reality were unsuccessful.
“When we walked into the first classroom, a little boy gave us all one look and rushed up and hugged me. I knew from that moment we were destined to be best friends! Towards the end of the afternoon, he showed me the alphabet on the wall (read it to me with such precision) and picked out several books for me to read. When his mother came to pick him up, he looked so upset and didn’t want our story time to end! While we were reading to the kids, several of the teachers started clapping and this one little girl would start dancing and swaying side to side. They stopped and then she stopped. They started, and she started. It was SO funny. This girl only had one dance move, and it was good.” – Alexandra Kesman
The Peaslee Child Development Center was established to provide a quality education for children from six weeks to five years old. The teachers recognize the importance of balanced growth so they provide opportunities for mental, physical and emotional growth through a variety of creative and cultural experiences. Through a developmentally appropriate literacy based curriculum, arts and music classes, and our Peaslee Schoolyard, we strive to teach and educate your children to prepare them for Kindergarten.
You can learn more about the Peaslee Neighborhood Center and how to get involved by visiting: http://www.peasleecenter.org/