St. Matthew students to enjoy school-wide reading project with Martin's grant

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) Winter break is coming soon for school kids throughout Michiana.

While many students are looking forward to a break from studying, kids at St. Matthew Cathedral School in South Bend will be continuing a school-wide reading project.

These kids are enjoying the classic "Alice in Wonderland." Thanks to Martin's Super Markets' $1,000 One School at a Time grant, the school was able to purchase enough books to send some home with the older kids over break.

Language arts teacher Marcy Balderas came up with an idea to have all grades read the same book.

“Younger grade students and older grade students will have something in common that they can discuss and share,” explained Balderas. “So every student in our school will be exposed to Alice in Wonderland through either their teacher reading it or the students studying the classic novel form in the upper grades.”

“I feel like it will be real exciting to read,” said 8th grader Meghan McCormick. “I don't like reading books where there's no action or anything. But I feel that this book I'll want to read.”

Classmate Sarah Barkley added, “It’s going to be very interesting to have everyone read the same exact book at the same exact time.”

The school needed to purchase multiple copies of different levels and adaptations.

“We’ve grown up with the younger grades, we just get the light fluff Disney stuff,” said 8th grader Emma Kopec. “I'm glad that this year we get to dig deep and in-depth and really put ourselves in the author's shoes.”

The money from the Martin's One School at a Time grant came at the right time. Many of the students will have a book to read over Christmas break.

“Now that we have the money to purchase the books, we plan to do that right away immediately so that we can spend the month of December learning about the book and analyzing the book and studying the characters in the book,” said Balderas.

Students hope these school-wide book projects will catch on.

“I think this will be a great, a great thing to do and I hope it continues throughout the years,” said 8th grader Charlie Limberis.

“There’s a new place that you get to visit each time you read a different book, and it's so special to have that experience,” added 8th grader Madelyn Cerney.

“We can all be united in our education just like we are in our faith,” said Kopec.

The reading project culminates with special events planned for Catholic Schools Week in January. The students are looking forward to a Mad Hatter tea party and a special reading of the poem "Jabberwocky."

If you want to help your school with a specific need, you can apply for Martin's Super Markets' "One School at a Time" grant.

Just fill out an application online at michianaschools.com

The winning school gets $1,000 from Martin's Super Markets.