Students at Old Post Road Elementary School in Abingdon got a special visit on Monday when Maryland Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller joined representatives from the Maryland State Education Association and the Harford County Education Association in making a donation of over 20 diverse books.
The visit was part of the celebration for the 25th anniversary of Read Across America Month, which occurs in March of each year.
According to Cheryl Bost, Maryland State Education Association president, the donated books allow the children to see reflections of themselves when they open the books. The books were chosen specifically because their stories better represented the diverse group of students at the school, Bost said.
“I was recently at another elementary school and a young lady from India was helping me look through the books,” Bost told the group, “and she grabbed one of them and said, ‘Oh, I see me in this book.’ How exciting is that for each of us to see ourselves in literature.”
Jerdine Nolen, a retired teacher and author of one of the donated books, “On Her Wings,” also attended. Her book features the story of the late novelist Toni Morrison.
Miller also shared story time and read one of the new books to a group of second-grade students.
“This is so important because it is about making sure our kids really enjoy reading and they become lifelong readers, learners and dreamers,” Miller said. “It’s especially important to me that we’re highlighting diversity, inclusivity and equity of authors that have great talent and bring a different spectrum to reading.”