Meet Beckie Nieman of North Pike Elementary in Summit, Mississippi
by Matthew
February 6, 2022

We’d like to introduce you to Beckie Nieman, a teacher and librarian of more than 25 years.

She’ll be hosting us this coming December when the Busload of Books Tour makes a stop at North Pike Elementary in Summit, Mississippi. Beckie was kind enough to share a bit about herself and her school.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Everything! I LOVE my job. The library is the heart of our school!

WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL’S GREATEST CHALLENGE?
I think our greatest challenge is access to the internet via laptops, etc. Recently with Covid another one of our biggest challenges is closing the learning-loss gap and attending to the social and emotional needs many students face.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES IF YOUR SCHOOL HAD MORE FUNDING?
I realize academics/technology are top priorities, but I really wish we had the funding to update our playground. It would benefit all grade levels to have more options at recess.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL MAKES YOU PROUDEST?
Our kids are learning about how Character Counts. Not all schools have this and it really makes a difference! Our students are very kind and caring, and I am proud of the many ways adults and students are encouraged on a daily basis.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL TRADITIONS?
All of the reading challenges and days we celebrate reading! Dot Day, AR theme week, Read Across America Week, and The Global Traveling Mural project are a few we do each year!
Coach Pig also sings our Friday song on the announcements! Also, our PTO’s tradition of Teacher Breakfast/Lunch and, of course, the monthly candy cart!

WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL?
Our school has very hard-working faculty and staff. Our administration supports us and will try to get anything we need within reason. They have been duct-taped to walls, put on the roof as pirates, had pies thrown at their faces, dressed as our jaguar, and many other fun things to motivate reading. We love our Little Jags!

We’re so excited to meet the students and teachers of North Pike Elementary. Fingers crossed that our trip happens to overlap with the monthly candy cart.

And many thanks to Beckie in advance for offering to let us use her school’s washer and dryer. This a whole new level of commitment to literacy!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recently:

The Busload of Books Tour is a year-long project to promote literacy and raise awareness of the challenges facing our nation’s public schools.

Author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr (that’s us) and our four kids will spend the 2022-2023 school year traveling the country in a school bus/tiny home, visiting Title I schools in all 50 states (plus DC), and giving away 25,000 hardcover books to students and teachers from underserved communities.

As we travel, we will be blogging, vlogging and posting frequently to social media. All of our content will be appropriate for bringing families and students along on our ultimate road trip.

The latest on Instagram:

The Daily Minute: 12.9.22
In which, having just arrived in Texas, we plan to spend the night in Jasper County.

#busloadofbooks
...

11 1

Robbi got this text from Erica Bridwell (known to friends and colleagues as “B”), the first-grade teacher who hosted Jasper during Tuesday’s visit to North Pike Elementary School in Summit, Mississippi. We signed a copy of Everywhere, Wonder for B, and Robbi had written in the dedication to “keep fighting the good fight.”
 
It’s a difficult time to be a teacher, especially at a school with limited resources and especially when serving kids who bring additional challenges to school. Educators need a boost every bit as much as their students do.
 
We’re sharing this to show that the tour is also for them, and maybe even more so. 
 
“We miss y’all! It felt like a part of us left when y’all did. Y’all have NO IDEA the impact you’re making not only on kids, but adults too! I haven’t had the easiest school year so far. I have felt defeated, frustrated, and overwhelmed. My connection with my students has felt faint and really nonexistent… I’ve struggled to find ways to motivate them, encourage them more… then y’all come along and somehow it has put fire back into me. Your words have made me reflect since I read them… “keep fighting the good fight…” it was powerful. I had that “full moon feeling” that feeling of how much I love what I do. I thought of what it means to me and what those kids mean to me. I remembered why God chose me to do this. Your kind words lifted me up. So thank you. Thank y’all. What y’all are doing is amazing! Safe travels! I’ll be following!”
...

43 3

The Daily Minute: 12.8.22
In which we bask in the sweet Louisiana night and brace ourselves for the enormity of Texas.

#busloadofbooks
...

22 0

Whoever you are, take your seat on the bus!

Our adventure is your adventure. Our country is your country, too. Follow along with us!