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Moravia High School students turn the page on kindness with third-graders

photo of a teen girl reading to an elementary girl
March 28, 2019 -- In an event inspired by kindness and planned in partnership with the Moravia Rotary Club, a group of high school students made the short trek to Millard Fillmore Elementary School this morning to read a picture book aloud to third-graders.

The book, “Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed,” written by Emily Pearson, recounts how a simple act of kindness can set off a chain reaction that ripples out exponentially. After the students read the book in pairs, they crafted paper “fortune tellers” filled with ways to be thoughtful to others.

Bethany Mendoza, a Rotary Club member and new Spanish teacher at Moravia High School, spearheaded the project. The Rotarians purchased a copy of the book and donated them for each third-grader to keep.

The cross-generational literacy event was designed “to promote literacy and to promote kindness,” she said. “We’re hoping that the students will take this opportunity to learn from the high-schoolers and continue to read and continue to see the importance in reading, and see the importance in doing good deeds.”

“This is really exciting for the kids,” third-grade teacher Kristin Johnson said. “They like having things that are out of the ordinary, they love to be read to. It’s just a wonderful opportunity and I hope we can continue it every year.”

two men and a women stand in a school corridor
From left: Rotarians Greg Goon, Tom Collins and Bethany Mendoza get ready to distribute copies
of "Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed"  to third-graders at Millard Fillmore Elementary School.  

Check out video from the event!