WMU-Cooley law students read and donate books to Sibley Elementary School students

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As part of March is Reading Month, the leaders of Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Children’s Law Society took time recently to read to three Sibley Elementary School kindergarten classes in Grand Rapids. Besides reading to the children, WMU-Cooley students Demar L. Sheffey and Anthony Courtney  gave each child their own book to take home, along with a notebook and pencil to practice their writing.

Shown in the photo at left: Demar Sheffey and Anthony Courtney, WMU-Cooley Law School students, with some of the students in the three classes. Each child received a book of their own, along with a notebook and pencil.

Sheffey recently helped revive the Children’s Law Society at WMU-Cooley because he was angry about what he saw as the state of literacy in Grand Rapids public schools. He remembered when he couldn’t move to the fourth grade because his reading skills needed improvement.
Like his third grade teacher who helped him, Sheffey wanted to help current school children.

“No one gave me a book at that age,” Sheffey said. “But if I take the time to show these kids that reading is fun and help provide the tools they need to learn, then hopefully they will keep up in school.”

The Children’s Law Society supplied the colorful notebooks and pencils. Sheffey coordinated with the Friends of Grand Rapids Public Library to donate the 80 books. It is the Society’s plan to continue to read books in all elementary schools in Grand Rapids on a regular basis. They also plan to hold a reading competition and host a pizza party for the school whose children read the most books.

“The kids were really excited to pick out their own book and the color of notebook they liked best,” Sheffey said. “We went to three stores looking for colors that we thought kids would like. I think we bought them all out.”