Students, parents, grandparents and teachers filled every couch and chair and most floor space in classrooms at Rockford Elementary Wednesday afternoon as they took part in the all-school Reading with Relatives.
"This is what education is all about," said Rockford principal Ed Jackson, "parents, grandparents, students and high school students involved with each other.
"This is incredible," he said.
"Don't you like the buzz?" asked Rockford PTA president Julie Wada.
All 140 fourth graders in the Snake River School District attend Rockford Elementary. Parents, grandparents and 33 Snake River High School students came in to read with students.
A "first book" grant with the Snake River School/Community Library provided a hardback chapter book for each fourth grader.
"This grant lets libraries partner with schools," said Sherrilynn Bair, Director of the Snake River Library. "The books are basically free. We pay for shipping."
Fred Meyers in Pocatello gave the Rockford PTA a $100 grant. With this grant, the PTA purchased cheese sticks, carrots and water for the students. The PTA bought chips.
This year, the Rockford PTA is working to create an outdoor classroom, said Julie Wada, the PTA president.
"Fourth graders spend the year learning about the history of Idaho," she said. "Our goal is to create an environment at Rockford that is reflective of this newly developed pride in our state through a landscaping project.
The goals of this project include rebuilding the foundation of the pavilion, building a windbreak, putting in a flower bed around the flagpole and a water-conscious sprinkler system.
"Students are raising money by donating their change through the month of March. The PTA is busy writing grants and getting the word out.
"This is a great opportunity for our students to see how big things can happen when family, friends and neighbors join in our efforts," said Wada.
Since the project will not be completed this year, this is selfless giving on the part of these fourth graders, she said. "These kids have an amazing spirit."
The project continues until the end of the school year, said Wada.
If people would like to contribute, donations can be made at Rockford Elementary, idaho Central Credit Union or by mail. Donations are tax deductible when made through the Rockford PTA.