The Wilder Elementary PTA and staff celebrated summer and reading with school friends, sharing books, prizes, and an ice cream treat at the school playground three evenings during the break. During the last week of school, every Wilder student chose a book for their own and received an invitation to attend three playground parties during the summer. On three evenings (June 15, July 10, and July 31) from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m., each participating pupil received a card with his/her chosen book to complete and turn in at the next drop. The final card will be turned in during the first week of school. At the beginning of the new school year, prizes will be awarded for participating in the summer book drop. Families who were not able to attend the playground celebrations due to vacation plans turned in a request for a drop off at their home, and Wilder PTA President Lori Robinson delivered books to those families.
The Wilder PTA and Westerville Parent Mentor Amanda Chiles provided the ice cream and treats. Additionally, each child received a reading buddy Wilder Coyote puppet, cards and a dice to play suggested math games, bookmarks, crayons, balloons and bubbles. The books were provided by Westerville Kiwanis member John O’Connell, and organized by Wilder K-Kids under the direction of teacher Lynn Holland. Additional Wilder staff support in hosting the event included: Michele Bertus, Katherine Fischer, Stephanie Fitzpatrick, Beth O’Reilly, Jami Patton and Cynthia Vilardo.
An average of 40 children attended each playground event. The purpose of the activities were to encourage the love of reading and build personal libraries, while connecting with friends throughout the summer. The Wilder PTA and staff dedicated the summer literacy initiative in memory of former assistant principal and parent, Dr. Aloma Gibbs, for her love of learning and children.