First Graders Will Help With Hope-centric Book

Mayor Timothy McDonough of Hope talks about town government with first graders from Hope Elementary School.

You might say that first graders in Jessica Luke’s class at Hope Elementary School have had a pretty good relationship with the Town of Hope and its governing body.

Mayor Timothy McDonough and his wife Maria, along with their daughter Lacey DiTondo, annually participate in the national program Read Across America at the school. Every year, the Mayor invites students from the school to visit Town Hall and learn about local government. Mrs. Luke’s first graders were an integral part of both of those experiences this year.

Now, the first graders will be part of an even bigger project involving the town.

The Mayor, his wife, and daughter, along with Ann Marie Schwartz, are working on a book project about Hope. The photo-filled book will also be filled with commentary by the students as to their favorite things about Hope.

“It was an outcome of the Read Across America program,” said Maria McDonough. “We got to talking about it after this year’s reading and it just seems like such an exciting project for the children – and us!”

Luke embraced the idea of the project and presented it to the Board of Education, as well as obtaining permission for the students to take a field trip to Town Hall. As the book project moves forward, Luke will play an even larger role.

The McDonoughs have been visiting the school for many years as part of Read Across America. Read Across America, celebrated throughout the U.S., coincides with Doctor Seuss’s birthday. “Education for youth is something very important to the family,” said Timothy McDonough.  “We are totally committed to education.”

The book project clearly is a step up in that commitment.

The McDonough Family is very active in the community at-large, as well as the school. Maria and Lacey are also agents with Re/Max Town & Valley, which also supports many Hope Township activities.

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