Each year the Levittown Public Schools celebrates literature through its Summer Reading Extravaganza program. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, students from Jonas E. Salk and Wisdom Lane middle school continued to participate in the program this past summer by reading "Pay It Forward" by Catherine Ryan Hyde. They connected to the book through virtual activities that the district provided and students entered a raffle for a chance to win a seat at a special luncheon which was officially held at the end of October.
Thirty students from each school were crowned raffle winners for their participation during the summer months and earned a Dairy Queen luncheon and Blizzard voucher in their respective school library. As the winners enjoyed their treat, they also engaged in a live Zoom video conference with Richard Specht, founder of the ReesSpechtLife Foundation and the Cultivating Kindness program. To limit the number of people in the library at all times, each school split their luncheons into two days and celebrated 15 winners each day while practicing social distancing.
Aside from the select number of raffle winners, all students in grades 6-8 from Jonas E. Salk Middle School and Wisdom Lane Middle School participated in a virtual Cultivate Kindness assembly in their classrooms. Mr. Specht created a custom, pre-recorded assembly for the students which connected to the messages in their book, "Pay It Forward." They also watched a personalized message from author Catherine Ryan Hyde. Students will soon be receiving Cultivating Kindness Pay It Forward cards, courtesy of Mr. Specht, to encourage them to spread kindness and pay it forward each day.