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Godwin brings innovation to Beverly School

Retired English teacher Jean Jory, who was beloved by her own students, has nominated Lucy Godwin as the next teacher to be named for our Kump Education Center “Apple for the Teacher Tree.”

Godwin has brought innovation and opportunity to students in rural Beverly, where there is no public library and many students have no reading material at home.

When Godwin was busy teaching 4th and 5th grade at Beverly Elementary in 2017, she earned a $3,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to purchase books for a Bookmobile. Godwin and Principal Paul Zickefoose took his van on a route with 13 stops in order to reach as many students as possible. With fuel paid for by Elkins Rotary Club and a few balloons from Dollar Tree, the van went on its way every Tuesday.

By end of summer, the mobile library became more like a circus. Tygart Valley Lions Club contributed bags of healthy snacks packed by residents of a Beverly senior care center. A local insurance group gave out jump ropes and sunglasses. WVU Extension Service delivered fresh fruits and vegetables, and children listened to volunteers reading books aloud at three stops.

Lucy Godwin grew up in Randolph County, then attended West Virginia Wesleyan College. After college she went to South Korea as a Fulbright Scholar to teach English for one year before she returned to teach in her home school district. After teaching several years, she decided to return to graduate school and now she is the Title I teacher at Beverly.

The Beverly Bookmobile was a true community effort because Godwin believes the old saying, “It takes a village… Many hands and hearts have shared unique talents and ideas that have made our project a success.” What she did not say is that she is the one person with the leadership skills to coordinate such efforts with everyone in her community.

As the Title I Reading Specialist, Godwin has excellent skills in teaching reading, and she knows that learning to write is essential for developing effective reading and thinking skills.

Other teachers may say they don’t like teaching writing, and the kids may complain that writing is too much work, but Lucy Godwin is developing ways to make learning to write more fun.

For teachers like Godwin nothing is too much trouble, and nobody in the community refuses to help when she asks them to lend a hand. Beverly is a better “village” with Lucy Godwin there.

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