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Barkhamsted students excited about reading

BARKHAMSTED — Fifteen fifth-and-sixth graders from Barkhamsted Elementary School celebrated the school’s eighth annual Book Club program this week. The students volunteered to read and discuss books throughout the year while raising money for charity.

Teacher Vicky Bowler and Principal Joanne Sciola said the students met every Monday throughout the school year and participated in a range of projects, including a sale of jewelry and baseball cards that raised more than $600 for the Connecticut Eye Bank & Visual Research Foundation, which takes part in an international program to donate corneal implants to impoverished people.

"Every year we do a different community project," Sciola said at the school Wednesday afternoon. "This year we worked with the New Britain eye bank and through their international fund, doctors from Hartford go to different countries. For $50 they can replace a cornea."

Sciola said this year’s program hit particularly close to home for her because she was the recipient of a successful corneal transplant. The treatment has become increasingly accessible around the world, with the help of organizations like the Connecticut Eye Bank.

"The kids raised money by making hand-made jewelry and by selling baseball cards," Bowler noted. In previous years, students from the school have raised money for Winsted’s Open Door Soup Kitchen and other charities. Last year, they baked more than 1,000 cookies for U.S. troops stationed overseas.

Throughout this year’s Book Club program, students shared their books with local seniors and kept journals with their impressions of the stories they read. The final book of the year was "Edward’s Eyes," by Patricia Mac-Lachlan.

As the school year comes to a close this week, students in the Book Club program unanimously said they would continue reading this summer and this year’s events at the school were "awesome."

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