Welcome to School Book

A partnership project of:

Local Schools
Family Reading Partnership
Jerry Dietz
M&T Bank

We like the project because “all these kids from varied backgrounds have a common experience — the book. Also it makes registration quite magical.” — Randi Beckmann, Kindergarten Teacher, Belle Sherman Elementary School


New kindergartners throughout Tompkins County and two adjacent towns receive a brand new book entitled “Listening With My Heart” when they enter kindergarten. This special Welcome to School Book is a gift from the child’s new school.  Contributions to buy books are donated by individual schools, PTAs, and school councils, and are matched by M&T Bank and Jerry Dietz.

  • Increase book ownership in all families.
  • Build books into community transitions and traditions.
  • Use quality children’s literature as a vehicle to promote family reading practices.
  • Begin a positive home school relationship by providing schools with a book for families.
  • Connect the excitement of beginning school with the pleasure of books.
  • Give children a tangible representation of school to have for the summer.
  • Give children a common “book experience” as they enter school.
  • Build a “classroom community”
  • Smooth the transition to school.
The Book