Book donation to Riverton Elementary continues three-year collaboration with Saint Joseph’s College

On Tuesday, May 21, faculty and staff from Saint Joseph’s College visited Riverton Elementary School in Portland to present Assistant Principal David Turner and teacher Teddy Valencia with picture books from the Picture-Perfect Science series. Tuesday’s donation is the latest collaboration between the two schools.

“For the last three years, my Science Methods class has traveled to Riverton Elementary for the purpose of teaching science lessons,” says Dr. Janice Rey, assistant professor of education at Saint Joseph’s. “We have also provided classroom teachers with Picture-Perfect Series textbooks and more than 30 science kits with matching picture books.” Students have also donated time to organize and catalog teaching materials in Riverton’s storage.

Tuesday’s donation included the books “Be a Friend to Trees” by Patricia Lauber, “Rachel Carson: Preserving a Sense of Wonder” by Joseph Bruchac, and “Seashells by the Seashore” by Marianne Berkes. The books correspond to environmental science lessons from the Riverton curriculum.

In the past three years, Saint Joseph’s students have cultivated an important bond with Riverton that benefits both schools. “Riverton supports our pre-service program,” Dr. Rey says, “by giving Saint Joseph’s students the opportunity to teach science during the school day to a highly diverse student population, and Riverton students experience science lessons that are hands-on investigations.” And those lessons continue outside of Riverton as well. Saint Joseph’s hosted Riverton fourth- and fifth-graders on April 25 for Make a Splash, a sustainability event funded by Project WET and Poland Spring.

For faculty and staff at Saint Joseph’s, service learning opportunities like this are an important part of what the College provides for its students. “We’re always looking for great projects,” says Kimberly Post Rowe, director of community-based learning at Saint Joseph’s. Post Rowe says that when she’s considering service learning projects for Saint Joseph’s students, she’s eager to find “self-perpetuating programs.” In the case of Riverton, the relationship complements each school very well: The College plays a continuous role in the intellectual development of the elementary school students, and Riverton offers professional development for education students at Saint Joseph’s.

Dr. Janice Rey (left), Kimberly Post Rowe (right) and Teddy Valencia (center)

Dr. Janice Rey (left) and Kimberly Post Rowe (right) present a collection of three different picture book titles to Teddy Valencia (center), a teacher at Riverton Elementary School.

Teddy Valencia

Teddy Valencia (left) presents the picture book “Be a Friend to Trees” to a class at Riverton Elementary School. 

May 23, 2013
Contact: David Svenson at 207-893-7723 · dsvenson@sjcme.edu