Bonnie Schmidt of Port Angeles leafs through “Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You” by Nancy Tillman, a book that helped inspire Schmidt’s “Love Sparkle the World” project to promote world change through reading. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles preschool teacher urges others to read about love to children on March 20

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles preschool teacher is urging anyone and everyone to gather in classrooms, homes, libraries or community centers to read books to children with the themes of love, kindness and acceptance March 20.

Bonnie Schmidt, who created Love Sparkle the World, the organization hosting the event, said the “Read a Book. Change the World” event is intended to remind children they are loved.

“I want to support them and send them a clear message that they are loved no matter what and they have it within themselves to make other children and adults feel loved and accepted,” Schmidt said.

“It’s so that all our children are getting the same message of love and acceptance on the same day.”

Participants will chose age-appropriate books, poems or literary works that promote messages of love and hope to all who are listening, she said.

Participants are asked to register at www.lovesparkle theworld.com by Wednesday.

Participants will receive a welcome letter with ideas for how they can incorporate this project into their classrooms or program, she said.

Love Sparkle the World is an organization born from Schmidt’s work in her preschool, Little Rhythms Learning Center.

Nancy Tillman’s “Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You” inspired Schmidt to incorporate what she calls “love sparkles” into the classroom, she said.

The story is of a child being followed by love on all of life’s adventures.

“As a preschool teacher, I frequently use this book, especially in the first few weeks of school when the children are apprehensive about leaving their parents,” she said. “It is such a comforting book, and the imagery is captivating.”

She said she knows of teachers in Port Angeles who will be participating in the event, as well as some in other areas.

She said as an educator, she sees stress from adults affecting children and wanted to do something about it.

“I see it in conversations I overhear on the playground,” she said. “I feel there’s a lot of stress in the world right now and as much as we try to shelter them from things like that, it does trickle down.”

She said that through this event, she hopes to send a clear positive message of support to children and help them build resiliency.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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