I walk to school (which is also my work) everyday. One of our school engineers, now retired, used to ask me the same question every time the weather was miserable. “Today? Even today you walked?” My answer always sounded the same as well: “Yes, sunshine, rain, sleet, snow, I walk.”
I walk for exercise, for my mental health, for the chance to be outside and experience the world. Yes, my way to school could be faster if I drove or took transit, but I treasure this daily walk and feel fortunate that I have the opportunity to make it each day. Thirty-five minutes that is all mine.
Not all walks to school are so pleasurable or welcome. But they are necessary. Each step speaks to serious intent and commitment to education. That is what this book of sparse text and wonderful full colour photographs depicts.
The Way to School by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International was published in September 2015 by Second Story Press. Its message is important – what matters most is that you get there. School is necessary. School is transformative. School is non-negotiable. If children have the opportunity to go to school, they will go to great lengths: wading through rivers, balancing on collapsed bridges, trailing down a mountain path . . .
This book allows us to open up some meaningful conversations with our students and ask key questions.
- Do children all over the world attend school?
- Can every child in a community attend?
- Are there countries where some children go to school and others don’t? Why?
- What might prevent them from attending?
- What is the daily commute like?
- If the journey is long, what can’t fit in a child’s day?
- Are there dangers on a daily walk to school?
- Why is education so important?
- Does this make you think about school in new ways?
Proceeds form the sale of this book are donated to the I am a Girl Fund. I took this book out from the library but will be buying my own copy.
Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2016. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!