Oak Hill Elementary School students are able to get to know their school better while taking home a keepsake of their school.
The Parent Teacher Association worked with Mascot Books last summer and fall to create the book "Hello, Oakie!" The story follows the school’s mascot, a wolf named Oakie, through a typical day at the school.
Christina Liesegang, a member of the PTA and parent of an Oak Hill student, said when they noticed that Mascot Books had gotten into the market of books for elementary school students, they were eager to learn more. The book is a great way to lift students' school spirit and encourage them to read, she said.
“The parents and families really love it,” Liesegang said.
The PTA collected photographs of the school and provided information about school events and unique things about the school to include in the book, such as the school’s Chinese program and its partnership with the Greater Reston Arts Center, Liesegang said.
Sally Burns, Oak Hill PTA president, said the book is a great tool for both new and existing families to understand what a day in the life of an Oak Hill Elementary student is like. She said the book is useful for kindergarteners and other students who are new to the school.
The book also serves as an extension of the yearbook and provides a way for parents to connect with their children, asking them about specific parts of their school day, Liesegang said.
Burns said the book is also a great item to send to students' grandparents or other relatives who live far away, who want to learn about Oak Hill.
Other area schools that have worked with Mascot Books include Fox Mill and Crossfield elementary schools.
The book makes for a great piece of memorabilia as well, said Amy Goodloe, principal of Oak Hill, who often gives the book to student teachers. She said everyone involved worked hard to make sure the book truly represented the diversity of the school.
The PTA began to discuss the idea for the mascot book last spring, and started collecting the information and photographs needed last summer.
The amount of customization in the book lengthened the publishing timeline a bit, Liesegang said, but they were still able to stick to a tight production schedule and began selling the book last fall at the school’s book fair.
Most schools sell their mascot books for about $15, she noted, but the Oak Hill PTA is selling them for $12. A decision not to use teachers’ names assures that the story in the book will remain timeless. The PTA bought a large amount to last several years.
The books can be purchased through the PTA online. The book is also available to read in the Oak Hill Elementary School library.