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Reed City Public School Students Get Surprise Gift Before Summer Vacation

School is almost out for students in Northern Michigan, and Reed City Public Schools surprised their students with something special before they head off on summer break.

“It’s very rewarding, and it’s very exciting. We’ve never had anything like this,” said Karah Hensel, a G.T. Norman Elementary School teacher.

K through 8th graders at Reed City Public Schools ending the year with summer reading in hand.


“This is our Books for Kids program, so this is how the district chose to use our COVID relief Esser funds,” said Dave Carlson, Director of Curriculum & Instruction for Reed City Area Public Schools. “This is a program that teachers really wanted to implement for kids.”

“The first thing we had to do was pick about 30 popular books for the third grade. I sat down, and we made them all in a list, and then we had to check and make sure that Scholastic is the company that we went through, that they had those books in stock, and then from there the kids got to pick a certain it was $30 worth of books,” explained Hensel.

The key to the program was selection, allowing students to pick the books themselves.

“We know that the biggest barriers to reading are availability and choice,” said Carlson. “The district eliminated those barriers to make sure that we get books into the hands of kids before summer.”


One of the books third grader Chloe Lucht picked out was “Dragon Masters.”

Her classmate Lena Morlock also picked “Dragon Masters” and “The One and Only Ivan.”

Each student took home between ten and 15 books.

“I think the more you read, the more you know and the better you better students you become,” said Carlson.


“It’s just important for the kids because they get to step into, like I always tell them, they can just step into a brand new world and have all these different worlds and lives that they can go and explore through books,” added Hensel.

The school district keeps reading and learning alive, even after the final bell of the year rings.

“I like to read because you can make pictures in your head, and you can see the story in your head,” explained Alena Bookwalter, a third grader at G.T. Norman Elementary School.

“I like to read because you act like you’re actually in the book,” said Jame Nix, a third Grader at G.T. Norman Elementary School.

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