As turtle season begins for the Share the Beach Turtle People volunteers, it also begins for many second graders. "Over 700 second-grade students in Baldwin County elementary schools (Elberta, Foley …
As turtle season begins for the Share the Beach Turtle People volunteers, it also begins for many second graders.
"Over 700 second-grade students in Baldwin County elementary schools (Elberta, Foley Florence Mathis, Foley Elementary, Newton Elementary, Magnolia Elementary and Swift Elementary Schools) have received a copy of Linda B. Schmitz Spangrud's book "Miss Sandra and the Turtle People."
Miss Sandra portrays the story of a young turtle volunteer who comes to a life decision about her future and describes how she assists the Gulf Coast with environmental awareness. Miss Sandra, after guidance from her turtle friends, realizes it is more important to follow your dreams and passions. It informs children and families of the appropriate etiquette and rules for turtle protection and proper care of the beach environment. It relays to children and families turtle environmental protection guidelines in a playful story line with colorful turtle illustrations empathizing the "Leave Only Footprints" initiative. It teaches young readers about the health of the beaches and turtles themselves.
Spangrud is thrilled that so many students will be able to hear the story and learn how to help save the turtles and protect our beach environment. She is speechless on the all the funders who donated to the cause and wishes to thank them publicly: Mayor Ralph Helmrich and Alabama Credit Union for funding the books for Foley Elementary School and Florence Mathias Elementary School, James Lipscomb & Sons for Magnolia Elementary School, 5 Star Air Conditioning for Swift Elementary School, Centennial Bank for Elberta Elementary School and Oak Hollow Farms for Newton Elementary School.
"The enthusiasm of the students and their smiles of joy when they receive a book could melt any heart," Spangrud said.
The funders felt the same way.
Mayor Ralph Hellmich said, "I believe it is important for our city and its leadership to support the public schools. Jo and I appreciate the opportunity to partner with Alabama Credit Union to provide Ms. Spangrud's Turtle Book to our students in Foley."
Bridget Felder, of Alabama Credit Union, said, "This was our first year to participate in it. We look forward to many more years. We loved seeing the kids super engaged."
Cindy Higginbotham, owner of 5 Star Air Conditioning, said, "Seeing the kids' eyes light up when they find out they get to put their name in the book and it's theirs to keep makes it all worth it."
Doug Lipscomb of Lipscomb & Sons Farms said he believes in supporting schools. He proved this as he donated Linda Spangrud's book to all the second-graders at Magnolia Elementary School for the third year in a row. He said, "I hope to continue supporting education as long as I can."
The Little Family of the Oak Hollow Farm in Fairhope said "we are honored to donate a copy of 'Miss Sandra and the Turtle People' to each second-grade student in Larry J. Newton Elementary in Fairhope. We so enjoyed doing this because several of our own grandchildren attend Newton schools."
Centennial Bank has participated in giving books to second-grade children for three years now. While Ms. Spangrud talks about saving turtle, bank staff talks about saving pennies.
Why second grade? That is because the readability level means a child can read the book by themselves at the end of second grade.
Spangrud feels fortunate to have so much support for her books. She has three books published in her turtle people series: "Miss Ella and the Turtle People," "Miss Sandra and the Turtle People" and her new book, "Miss Linda and the Turtle People." All are in two languages (English and German). Books are available on three continents and in three countries. Her books are also available in many gift shops and stores in the U.S., especially in the Midwest and along the eastern and southern coastlines. She just recently returned from book signings in Maui, Hawaii, Aruba and Dominican Republic. She will be traveling to Germany soon and presenting her books and doing turtle talks during the Hennef Library's "kinder hour."
As Ms. Spangrud reflects, she feels blessed for all the support she has received. She is honored. Spangrud is thrilled that so many children will be able to hear her story and learn how to help save the turtles and protect our beach environment. She is speechless to all the funders who have purchased books.
She said to all, "You are the best! Turtle love to all!"