Over the past few weeks, the Schoolhouse library has been like a nest for me and my passion for reading. This space has also proven to be a haven for students and their creative ideas about some of the most important themes in our lives: honesty, kindness, individuality and respect. I have so enjoyed crafting Storytime with some of my favorite books (as well as some new ones!) in line with these themes.

I would like to highlight one of the books I shared and the amazing project that ensued after some of my students were inspired by this incredible biography – Seed by Seed: the Legend and Legacy of Johnny Appleseed.

Quick summation: Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman was a farmer from Massachusetts who lived over 200 years ago. He committed his entire life’s work to planting and sharing apple trees and literally changed the landscape of our nation by simply traveling across our land to cultivate his trees, year after year.

He also devoted his life to spreading positivity through the implementation of five ideals he claimed to have learned from spirits and angels. They are as follows:

  1. Use what you have
  2. Share what you have
  3. Respect nature
  4. Try to make peace where there is war
  5. You can reach your destination by taking small steps

Six students in particular took a liking to Johnny Appleseed’s life story. They requested more literature on him and his work and continued to discuss the five ideals inside and outside the library. I quickly realized we had an opportunity to spread the Appleseed way here at our Schoolhouse.

These six students have embarked on a magnificent journey – much like Johnny Appleseed himself – to spread love, kindness, responsibility and positivity in our community. As of this week, each student has chosen one of the ideals to personally embody. Over the next five weeks, all of them will begin planting “seeds” of positivity throughout our school.

I look forward to sharing more updates on this particular project and the work of many others as the students and I continue to explore our love of learning and the sweet serenity of stories that inspire us to grow.