Kindergarten Class Named Runner-Up in Scholastic Book Clubs Contest

by St. Andrew's Episcopal School
St. Andrew’s kindergarten class is one of 10 kindergarten, first- and second-grade classes in the country to be named a runner-up in last month’s “The Word Collector” Classroom Contest, which invited students to create illustrations of their favorite feeling words.
“The Word Collector” by Peter H. Reynolds introduces children to words that help them express their emotions, dreams, and ideas.
At St. Andrew’s, Lower School students have opportunities throughout the school day to practice expressing their feelings through social-emotional learning and mindfulness activities. The contest, organized by Scholastic Book Clubs, was an opportunity for teachers Lindsey Bucci and Vas Pournaras to build on that work.
“Our Peace of Mind curriculum focuses on being mindful in day-to-day interactions and on using your senses to do so. The main character in ‘The Word Collector,’ Jerome, is regularly listening and looking for new words to collect and is mindful of the words he hears from friends and reads throughout his day,” Pournaras said. “By the end of the book, Jerome realizes that all of the words he has collected can be put together to make powerful messages. He shares his word collection and messages with others so that they can continue to do the same.”
“In kindergarten the children are rapidly building their vocabulary, and this book introduces them to new words. It also helps them realize the power of their words,” Pournaras added. “When we found out about the contest, we immediately thought that it would be a great opportunity for our class to work together as a community.”
The contest winners were chosen based on the quality of both the artwork and word choice. Words submitted by the kindergarten class ranged from “peaceful” and “brave” to “angry” and “confused.”
As a runner-up, the class will receive a signed Peter H. Reynolds book collection.

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St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in preschool (Age 2) through grade 12, located in Potomac, Maryland.