Melissa students invite peers, community to “Grow Through the Pages”


Jan 2017
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Last week Melissa Schools rolled out a new student-led reading initiative to promote reading throughout the school district, the community, and the nation.

Over 30 students from Harry McKillop Elementary, Melissa Ridge Intermediate, Melissa Middle School, and Melissa High School, along with faculty mentors, met in November and December to brainstorm ideas for an official reading brand for the district.

Reading Initiative Logo

The group ultimately agreed on a logo design, slogan, and social media hashtag to represent the initiative. Students later filmed a video presentation highlighting the project and the importance of reading.

Students unveiled the reading initiative and its branding to district administration, board members, and community stakeholders at the district’s Jan. 12 Board of Trustees meeting. Anna Gressett, 8th grade; Noah Lakey, 6th grade; Rosie Ruiz, 10th grade; and Lydia Thompson, 7th grade, led the presentation.

The reading initiative logo depicts an open book, a healthy tree, and roots connecting the two, along with “Grow Through the Pages” as the slogan and the #Read2Grow hashtag. In the video presentation, students explain the link between books and personal growth.

“It was important that the reading brand have our Core Values, that it would last over time, and that it was simple, but powerful,” said Kim Boedeker, Executive Director of Academic Leadership, who led the initiative. “Any end goal that we had with the project, the students took to a new level. We built on their ideas and let the brand take shape.”

Boedeker says that community involvement with the initiative will continue to grow through literacy events organized by the schools.

Earlier this school year, Harry McKillop Elementary hosted its first annual “Reading Festival” and over 2,500 people attended. Not long after, the library at Melissa Ridge Intermediate and Melissa Middle School hosted its first annual “Read Under the Stars” event, which welcomed not only Melissa students and families, but also those outside the district.

The reading initiative group will meet again in the coming months to strategize next steps. Students will also work with their principals on campus to come up with ideas to encourage reading among peers.

“We have to tell our story – we talk a lot about that,” Boedeker added. “If we can get people excited about what we’re doing with this reading initiative, they will want to get involved.”

To see the reading initiative’s branding and video presentation, and to follow future projects, visit

Media Contact: Maddie Coe, Community Relations

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