Partnership with New Hope-Solebury School District!
In the words of Denise Jaeger - an English Instructor of the School District:
On July 8, a pleasant summer evening, a group of individuals eagerly gathered around a table at Baked on Main in the Marketplace in Doylestown. The original destination and one befitting the impetus for the journey, the Doylestown Bookshop, had unfortunately succumbed to a brief but impactful storm and stood silent and dark. Baked on Main opened its doors to the group who met to discuss Seedfolks, a small but impactful book by renowned author Paul Fleischman. Seedfolks is set in an urban environment and begins with the sowing of a seed by a newly displaced Vietnamese teen seeking to connect with her deceased father and the roots of her past. Gingerly and with reticence, she tucks the seed into the soil. Unknown to her, a neighbor kindly and quietly waters the seed to nourish life. Through the care of two strangers the plant emerges aside a rusted refrigerator – a thing of beauty in a place of neglect. Soon the paths of a multitude of diverse individuals merge in the cleaning and greening of a blighted urban lot as other members of the community begin to follow the young girl’s lead and a community garden is born. Seedfolks is a story of isolated individuals who grow in trust and understanding to become a true community. Told from thirteen different perspectives, it is demonstrative of the power of the individual to evoke change with passion and an open mind. It is a story of the power of earth to nourish people, mind and body. Finally, Seedfolks is a story of resilience and determination – the same resilience and determination that led to the founding of a community co-op in Doylestown.
Seedfolks is the book chosen for New Hope – Solebury Middle School’s inaugural One Book, One Community initiative. The goal of the summer reading program is to strengthen literacy by creating enjoyable collaborative and authentic reading experiences for students. Students in grades seven and eight will read the book during the summer break. Of course, it is hoped that everyone in the community will read and discuss the important ideas of this book with young people, thus sharing the joy of reading. This will allow a shared experience with which to begin learning together when students return to school and will encourage the joy of reading fiction for pleasure once again in a congenial and collaborative environment. New Hope – Solebury is very proud and grateful to be collaborating with several local organizations who will work with us to provide community connections for our students and to honor the themes of Seedfolks. Rolling Harvest, an organization that provides food support to those who experience food instability in our community, and Delaware Valley College are two such collaborative partners. Delaware Valley College has been instrumental in the growth of sustainable systems in Bucks County and they and our other collaborators will share their expertise with our students in school and with our community when they join us for a film and panel discussion on October 17, 2014 on the grounds of the middle school in New Hope.
Doylestown Food Co-op has been a very active and supportive collaborator in New Hope- Solebury Middle School’s One Book, One Community initiative, adopting Seedfolks as one of their summer book reads as well as organizing the July 8th book talk described previously. They will continue the collaboration as school begins in the fall. It is through their work that the themes and ideals of Seedfolks will become authentic for our students. A group of passionate individuals had an idea. With hard work, dedication, and resilience these individuals have achieved a vision. They sought to create a place that supports connection in community, honors the valuable work of farmers who coax life from soil, and provides the most nutritious of earth’s bounty to members of the community. The Doylestown Co-op has accomplished this vision, just as the characters in Seedfolks have accomplished theirs. As we broaden our students’ knowledge and understanding to include the lessons of community, we coax literature to life and make it more meaningful to young people. Join us! Attend the film and panel discussion in the evening on October 17 on the grounds of the New Hope – Solebury Middle School. Sow the seeds of community and the seeds of literacy. For more information visit the website