THREE OAKS — The first Birthday Books party held at Three Oaks Elementary was thrown on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Seven pupils in grades 3 through 5 enjoyed cake, opened gift-wrapped books they had selected, and had Dr. Suess’s “Happy Birthday to You” read to them by Title 1 Teacher Lynn Stover.

Previously (this is the program’s third year at RV) birthday books were mailed home to River Valley Elementary students (the mailing process is ongoing for younger grades that attend classes at the Chikaming Campus).

“I love the interaction of the community,” Stover said of the Birthday Books program. “To meet people from the community and have that connection. And I love that the kids took the time to pick their own book so it will mean something special to them.”

The Birthday Books program is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Harbor Country, and club members Leslie Wood, Darlene Heemstra and Bonnie Pollack were in attendance on Jan. 15.

Titles selected by the January birthday students included “Bears of the Ice: The Keepers of the Keys,” “All the Colors of Magic,” “Eighteen Days Underground: Incredible Rescue Stories,” “Junior Monster Scouts” and “Ellie: My True Story of the Holocaust.”

The books were accompanied by cards bearing the message: “We hope you like your book and love reading.”

The monthly Birthday Books parties culminate with a big June gathering for pupils born in that month, July or August.

The local Rotary Club also sponsors a birthday book program at New Buffalo Elementary, where monthly parties are held.

Last year River Valley also had a “One Book: Two Schools” celebration for National Reading Month (March) which combined “Sled Dog School” with special events such as a visit from a sled dog team and their owner/trainer.

Heemstra said both the New Buffalo and River Valley districts are slated to have a special National Reading Month program this year.

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