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Wishing Day Comes To Verona

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Each student made a wish in honor of the Wishing Day tradition. Wishes ranged from unicorns to world peace.

“Never lose hope. Wishes have a way of coming true.”
-Red, “Wishtree” by Katherine Applegate

During the month of March, all elementary families in Verona read Wishtree by Katherine Applegate as part of their annual “One District, One Book” program. Wishtree is the story of Red, a red oak tree who is nestled in a neighborhood much like Verona. Red is a wishtree and each year in May people write their wishes on a piece of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. When a young girl named Samar and her Muslim family move into the neighborhood, not all are welcoming and Red must intervene in this story of friendship, hope, and tolerance.

As a culmination to this year’s program, each elementary school in Verona planted their very own Red Oak Wishtree and held a celebration and planting ceremony. Students sang songs and recited poetry aligned with the themes of the story and all community members were invited to make a wish. Wishes ranged from unicorns and puppies to health and peace. The four Red Oak trees at Brookdale, F.N. Brown, Forest, and Laning are a tangible reminder of the story Wishtree and the lessons of kindness and acceptance. “One District, One Book” is coordinated by Verona school district librarians Corisa Walker and Elissa Freda and was funded by the Verona ​​Education Association.

F.N. Brown Principal Dr. Anthony Lanzo and School Librarian Corisa Walker opening the Wishtree Ceremony.

Wishtree Stone, made by Kathleen Amora, a F.N. Brown kindergarten teacher.

The F.N. Brown Wishtree with student wishes in the background.

Brookdale first graders planting their Wishtree.

F.N. Brown first grade teacher Anna Collins helps students plant the Wishtree as first grader Theo Ford adds a shovel of soil.

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