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First day of school at the Ashley Bryan School on Islesford

Susan Notes:

Ashley Bryan is a remarkable man, not "just" for his beautiful books but also for the way he has devoted his life to getting books into the hands of children.

Years ago, I heard him talk about his campaign to get books for the library on the Island where he lived. I was a children's book reviewer then, so I began sending Ashley boxes of books.Because he traveled a lot, I sent them c/o of the Isleford library. Ashley traveled the world in those days, and he always carried books with him. I followed his travels through the thank you notes I received from far-away lands.

Occasionally in my own travels I had the good fortune to hear Ashley give rousing and inspiring school presentations--telling children it was their responsibility to change their lives by reading.

I can't think of anyone as deserving to have a school named in his honor. Here is a description of the important part children played in renaming this school Ashley Bryan.

What a wonderful way to start the school year. And look at the community goals--read aloud by Ashley.

Note to President Obama, Arne Duncan, and all those beholden to Bill Gates money: Islesford and Great Cranberry community values don't include training kindergartners to be workers in the Global Economy. Not 8th graders either.

by Barb Etsy
Sept. 2, 2014

It has become a tradition for parents and townspeople to gather in the schoolyard as students arrive for their first day at the two room Ashley Bryan School. Everyone is there to wish them well, to see who the new students are, and to feel good about our special island school and its community support.

The crew from Great Cranberry arrives by boat and begins the short walk up from the dock. There are 6 students from Great Cranberry and one teacher and one aide who travel by boat every morning. This morning there were also all of the teachers for Art, Music, Phys. Ed and French. The principal was there too. It made for a solid group of educational energy surrounding the school. The inter island students were all happy to reconnect after a busy summer. All around the school yard parents of students, and other community members want to celebrate what a unique school we have.

There were many more friends from the community than there were students. There are 16 students in all covering every grade from K through 8 with the exception of 7th grade. It looks like it's going to be an exciting year!

Teachers Lauren and Audrey asked people to exuberantly make suggestions of goals for the year and then Ashley Bryan read them out and worried that the students will have to work too hard to learn all of these things! I don't know if you can zoom in on the list, but the suggestions are things like: Laughter, building, discovery, adventure, wonder, fun, awesomeness, cooperation and friendship.

See the pictures here

— Barb Etsy



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