On the very last day of school, a special group of third graders at Adams School learned a very important life lesson – it feels good to make a difference! The special group of students – the RSG Kids – held a publishing party to introduce their book “I Have the ABCs in My Hands,” written and illustrated to help preschoolers prepare for kindergarten.
The RSG Kids are led by music teacher Sarah Guilford as part of the Ready.Set.Grow. early learning initiative, supported by United Way and the Regional Office of Education. At the beginning of third grade, students at Adams apply to become an RSG Kid. Once “hired” for the team, they are assigned to different tasks such as writer, illustrator, and public relations. Over the course of the school year, they develop the concept for a book, write and illustrate the book. Once the book is published, it is distributed throughout the community to be put into hands of preschool students to better prepare them for kindergarten.
The publishing party held on May 27 was the culmination of the project. Those of us who had the privilege to attend, saw student leadership in action and witnessed the impact one group of kids can have in our community. From the moment we walked in the door, it was apparent that these RSG Kids take their job roles very seriously. We were greeted at the door with a welcome and a handshake and assigned a guide to walk us to the classroom. While we walked, our student guide gave us a synopsis of the book writing process, what the story was about, and how it would help preschoolers learn to read.
The RSG Kids event began with two students leading the presentation with well-prepared scripts that they worked on at home and prepared completely unassisted. The presentation was followed with preschool visitors from Cheerful Home Early Learning Center. The RSG Kids broke into small groups and read the book to the preschoolers.
To conclude the party, Mrs. Guilford led the room in singing the book aloud. She then asked the students to share why they made the book. One student responded, “to see the smiles on the preschoolers faces.” Another student said, “because we are helping little kids learn to read. It is good to help people.”
The thing that stood out to us, United Way staff, is that these kids really get it, and they get it at a very young age. They worked together as a team towards a common goal. They were all proud of their role in the process and took ownership for it. And most importantly, they found true joy and satisfaction in giving to others. They created something unique and special for the community and this accomplishment will be something that will have great impact on their lives moving forward. This is what United Way is all about.
Kudos to Mrs. Guilford for putting her heart and soul into this project for a second year and leading the RSG Kids towards leadership, creativity and the giving spirit generated by this project. These RSG Kids really know what it means to LIVE UNITED.