2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki presented 1000 books from Scholastic to Luther Burbank Middle School teachers and students on Tuesday afternoon, September 29.
“In my role as the National Teacher of the Year, I get asked to do a great many really neat things,” explained Mieliwocki. “In my year of recognition, I worked with Scholastic on a number of projects and we have continued the relationship.”
“This summer I did some consulting work on strategic partnerships with them and the compensation was books donated to my classroom,” she continued. “At the time of the work, I didn’t know I would have a new job at the district office as a teacher on special assignment and no classroom to deliver the books to.”
“I asked if they would deliver the books to my school’s library for all the kids and teachers to enjoy and they said a hearty yes.”
Mieliwocki recently stepped into her new position at the Burbank Unified District office as Coordinator, Secondary Induction and Professional Development.
“Five thousand dollars worth of books for kids in grades 6-8 were delivered to Luther Middle School. Dana Coburn-Kullman, Luther’s librarian, and I decided that we would give every teacher at Luther a basket filled with books for their own classroom libraries.”
“This is a huge help since we have school-wide reading, called FRED (Fun Reading Every Day) and kids sometimes forget to bring their books. Having a class library in every single room means kids and teachers are never without books,” she added. “I couldn’t be more happy and proud to bequeath these books to Luther, a school that was home to me for 13 years.”
“I really appreciated the book donation today and I was excited by the variety in the titles. It’s awesome to have different genres that appeal to all the different tastes in my classes,” commented Luther teacher Roberta Fong. “I find that having books available in my classroom increases the amount of time my learners spend reading.”
“When the students ask for a book recommendation, I love that I can grab a book from my class library and hand it to him or her with confidence,” Fong also said. “I would also like to thank Rebecca Mieliwocki for leaving such a generous legacy to Luther.”
The books are a selection of Middle School level common core curriculum books, including fiction and non-fiction, according to Cobern-Kullman. Each of the 46 teachers at Luther received a basket with 21 to 22 books. The books touch on topics including science, math, social studies, literature and sports.
“This is a one-time event commemorating Rebecca’s long time commitment to Education and our school,” commented Cobern-Kullman. “As an English teacher for 13 years at Luther and National Teacher of the Year in 2012, Rebecca Mieliwocki championed literacy and the importance of books to her students and colleagues.”
“Rebecca’s generous donation shows her true devotion to the cause,” she added. “It is just a testament to her generous spirit and commitment to literacy.”