You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

Logan Elementary surpasses book drive goal by 4,297 books

By Danielle Arndt

Soon, children at an orphanage in the Philippines will have enough reading material to keep their imaginations engaged for a long time.


Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje speaks to students at Logan Elementary School alongside their principal, Terra Webster, left, at an assembly Friday to celebrate the end of March is Reading Month.

Courtesy of AAPS News

Ann Arbor’s Logan Elementary School hosted a book drive for March is Reading Month that surpassed the staff’s greatest expectations. Their goal was 1,000 books but as of Thursday afternoon, the staff and children had collected 5,297 books.

“The kids did such a fantastic job,” said Principal Terra Webster. “Some kids brought in bags and bags of books every day. Other families that no longer have children here heard about the drive and brought in the books their families outgrew.”

Emily Fairless’ third-grade classroom collected the most books, 531, aside from the front office, which collected 940 books.

Webster, having been a classroom teacher for 10 years, admitted that she had a hefty number of books to contribute to the office staff’s total.

The theme of Logan’s March is Reading Month celebration was “reading around the world.” The school hosted an assembly Friday afternoon to close its month-long commitment to reading and learning about other cultures.

Webster said each class had to select a favorite book or folk tale from another country to use as the cornerstone of its reading month curriculum. The pupils decorated the doors to their classrooms with colorful paper cutouts and items that represent their book’s culture.

At the assembly, after President Barack Obama turned down an invitation to be a guest reader at the school’s closing ceremony, Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje filled in.

“(The students) are so excited,” Webster said. “It’s cute because a lot of kids think the mayor and the president are on the same level. I have to say, ‘No, he’s not quite like the president.’ But many of the kids have never seen the mayor. So it will be really nice for them to meet Ann Arbor’s mayor.”

She said the fifth-graders currently are studying Michigan history, so to have someone from a position or a branch of local government that they have been learning about visit their school is a great real-life application for them.

Webster was “tickled” and “ecstatic” Hieftje gave up his afternoon to spend with her pupils.

“I’m sure he has many other things he could be doing that are a lot more important,” Webster said of Hieftje’s willingness to participate in the assembly. “We really were looking for someone from the outside to come celebrate with us. We’ve had the superintendent here a few times. But with reading around the world, we wanted to show the expansiveness of reading and all the lives that reading touches — that it’s not just kids.

“Important people read too.”

Read previous Ann Arbor reading month coverage here.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Alan Goldsmith

Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

""I'm sure he has many other things he could be doing that are a lot more important," Webster said of Hieftje's willingness to participate in the assembly. " Not really.


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 11:15 a.m.

Go Logan! What you accomplished is fantastic even without the President!