The Honors English coordinated a book drive to collect books so that all children have the opportunity to read and boost their literacy skills. They collected more than 900 books! Shown are: Lauryn Arneson, Carrie Hagen, Liz Johnson, and Kaitlin Bratland. Second row: Christine Lund, Abbey Schnell, Mariah Deschler, Aly Folz, Shayna Cody, Greg Eiken, Hank Hegge, and Kjersten Borreson. Back row: Samantha Bratland, Elliott Cross, Jenna Bohr, Colin Matzke, Laura Johnson, and teacher Julianna Lile. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPRING GROVE PUBLIC SCHOOL
The Honors English coordinated a book drive to collect books so that all children have the opportunity to read and boost their literacy skills. They collected more than 900 books! Shown are: Lauryn Arneson, Carrie Hagen, Liz Johnson, and Kaitlin Bratland. Second row: Christine Lund, Abbey Schnell, Mariah Deschler, Aly Folz, Shayna Cody, Greg Eiken, Hank Hegge, and Kjersten Borreson. Back row: Samantha Bratland, Elliott Cross, Jenna Bohr, Colin Matzke, Laura Johnson, and teacher Julianna Lile. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPRING GROVE PUBLIC SCHOOL
Giving the gift of literacy. That is what the Honors English class at Spring Grove High School did with their book drive. They collected books that will benefit children of many ages locally and across the world in Norway.

At their last count, the class collected 933 books! Some of the books remained at the school for children that may not have books in their homes to help them continue to work on their literacy skills. Some books were also delivered to Caledonia to the Houston County Food Shelf and Care and Share.

The final group of books will be going to Norway to a new international school that was started this fall by Cherise Kristoffersen and colleagues. Kristoffersen is the daughter of Harmony residents, Norris and Betty Storlie. She also is a former teacher at Spring Grove School. She is married to Norwegian citizen, Øyvind Kristoffersen and they live in Norway.

Since October however, she, along with her three children, have been living in rural Harmony as she works on her doctorate at the University of Minnesota. Her doctorate is through NTNU in Norway and is on writing in the elementary grades using the six traits of writing. Øyvind will be joining his family in Minnesota for Christmas.

"We started the process of opening our international school, Fagerhaug International School, about four years ago and were able to open it this fall," Kristoffersen explained. "It is a small school right now, but we have a lot of interest. This year we have nine students in grades first through fifth. We will continue to add grade levels and will eventually go through tenth grade." English is the language of instruction at the school unless it is a Norwegian language class.

"Our goal is to have our students think as global citizens. We have a mix of families attending the school - we have a family from Tanzania, families with one parent an American and one a Norwegian, and families that are 100 percent Norwegian."

The school is in the Fagerhaug Education Center in Stjørdal, Norway, which also houses a private Christian school and a day care. An unused wing of the building was renovated and this is where the new international school is. They share administration and secretarial services with the other school in the building making it easier to open the school.

"I appreciate this donation of books to our school," Kristoffersen added. "This will help build our library - thank you!"