UEA Press Release: Teachers from around the west donate books to Utah students


When teachers met in Salt Lake City earlier this year for the National Education Association Western Regional Leadership Conference, they wanted to leave behind a gift to help students succeed. Each conference participant was encouraged to bring books to donate to Salt Lake City’s Riley Elementary School. In the end, attendees donated enough books to provide one for every student.

Salt Lake School District Superintendent McKell Withers and Utah Education Association President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh joined with the Cat in the Hat at an event celebrating the book donation on May 12. The two school leaders read to Kindergarten and first-grade classes while the Cat interacted with students and handed out books.

“We hope this donation will get students at Riley Elementary excited about reading,” said UEA President and former Utah Teacher of the Year Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh. “Having their own book to read is a great step on the road to school success. For some of these kids, this may be the first book they’ve ever owned.”

Riley Elementary is a ‘Title I’ school, meaning a high percentage of students are from low-income families.

The NEA Western Regional Leadership Conference is held annually to enhance the knowledge of K-12 educators, education support professionals, higher education, student and retired NEA members in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The 2011 Conference was held Jan. 14-16 in Salt Lake City. The Utah Education Association is an affiliate of the National Education Association.

Three local television stations covered the event.

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