Oak Glen principal expands monthly reading program

Michael Earnshaw plans to read to all classes this year

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (September 25, 2019) – “Attached are some awesome pictures of our awesome principal, Mr. Earnshaw, reading to the 4th-grade class,” read the email from Kristine Espitia. A parent of students at Oak Glen Elementary School, Espitia is excited about the ways Earnshaw is encouraging not only reading but also character development in Lansing’s youth.

Michael Earnshaw is entering his sixth year as principal at Oak Glen. He started his monthly reading program a few years ago with the Kindergarten and first-grade classes, and this year he is expanding it to include all classes, K–5. Each month he chooses a book that reinforces or illustrates a specific theme. September’s book is One Drop of Kindness, by Jeff Kubiak.

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“The book deals with how we all have kindness within ourselves,” said Earnshaw, “and by displaying one kind act it can have a huge ripple effect and change the world!”

During the month of September, Oak Glen Principal Michael Earnshaw is reading One Drop of Kindness to all classes at Oak Glen. (Photo: Kristine Espitia, parent)

After reading the book to a class, Earnshaw leads a discussion about how the students and their school could be transformed by the power of kindness, and how they could go on to impact the community and the world.

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Earnshaw believes that the reading and discussion time he spends with students shows them he is invested in them. “I want to spend time with our students, not just up in the front office,” he said. “I support all of our staff, students, and families, and I want to help bring out their strengths to help us all make this world a better place.”

Earnshaw continued, “When our students leave school, I want them to be problem solvers, confident in their strengths, but not afraid to rely on others when help is needed. I want them to know how to successfully collaborate, take risks, and set out to change the world!”

Oak Glen Elementary School is located at 2101 182nd Street in Lansing.

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