School Bulletin: Rawson Elementary School teacher creates book covers for students
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A teacher at Rawson Elementary School is bringing her love of reading to her students. Jennifer O’Brien has been teaching in South Milwaukee for the last 26 years, and since 2016, she has worked as a reading interventionalist.
“It’s not just about a reading level or where students are at,” O’Brien says. “It’s where they are on their journey, and what skills they need to learn next to help them to the next stage in their journey.”
O’Brien says she also struggled with reading as a kid. When she was in fourth grade, she was embarrassed that her peers and friends were reading at a higher level. But one book, The Witches by Roald Dahl, sparked a passion for books.
To help her students find that passion, O’Brien created “Rawson Readers” book covers. They can keep a student’s reading private and judgement-free.
“Kids are very observant,” she says. “It's hard to protect them from certain things.”
O’Brien says “Rawson Readers” has been a community effort with the school hosting a fundraiser to pay for the book covers. At one school dance, families and staff could buy pieces of tape, donated by South Milwaukee ACE Hardware, to stick Principal Nick Anton to the wall. Later, Styled Aesthetic designed the covers for free.
The book covers have caused a lot of buzz around the school, but for O’Brien, this campaign is about more than reading.
“If we can get them reading and wanting to read, then the growth will happen. And academic achievement is naturally linked to that growth,” O’Brien says.