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Third Graders at Oakland Heights Elementary Receive New Books back button

On Wednesday, all third grade students at Oakland Heights Elementary were presented a book of their very own, “Charlotte’s Web” written by E.B. White. The books were provided through the Meridian Public School District’s Study Buddy organization which received a $300 grant from First Book.

“We are so excited for our children to get these books,” said Oakland Heights Principal Rosalind Operton. “It is essential that children have a print-rich environment, and we are working hard to implement programs that will help our children become stronger readers.”

Teresa Hodges, MPSD Board President and Executive Director of Study Buddy, presented the books to the excited third graders and read a passage from the book to them. The highlight of the presentation was that each child signed their name into their brand new book.

Study Buddy felt the need to provide elementary school students with books in order to strengthen their learning and reading comprehension skills,” said Hodges. “Since every subject requires reading, we feel the earlier a child develops these skills the stronger they will be in all subjects. What better way to nurture a love for books than to have books of your own?”

Plans to provide more books to students are already underway. Hopefully, the fourth grade students at Oakland Heights will receive their own copy of the book “Bud, Not Buddy” written by Christopher Paul Curtis very soon.

“Access to books and educational material is the single biggest barrier to literacy development in the United States and beyond. If we can solve the problem of access, we will be well on the road to realizing educational parity – a goal which has eluded this country for generations,” said Susan B. Neuman, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.

About First Book: To date, First Book has distributed more than 85 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis. Visit for more information.

About Study Buddy: The mission of the Study Buddy Tutoring/Mentoring Program is to provide struggling students with a healthy start and a healthy future through sharing the joy and love of learning, through the demonstration and compassion of caring volunteers and through the support of the community. Study Buddy volunteers meet a minimum of once per week one-on-one with a student in need to help with literacy, study skills, citizenship and exposure. To learn more or to become a Study Buddy, please visit


Oakland Heights Elementary teachers LeAnne Robinson, left, and Dottie Rigdon, far right, listen as third grade students read "Charlotte's Web" as part of a choral reading exercise to help improve their reading skills.


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