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Educators donate COVID-related books to Lawrence Public Schools in memory of former employees

"Coping Rhymes for COVID Times"

A piece of Lawrence Township Public Schools’ (LTPS) past was recalled at the Oct. 14 Board of Education meeting as the daughter of two former district employees returned to the district with an act of kindness in her parents’ memory.

Karen Stroman Pardonner is the daughter of Joseph Stroman, former Ben Franklin Elementary principal (1967-69), and Pauline (Polly) Stroman, a former first grade teacher at Slackwood School (approximately 1982-2004). Pardonner had contacted Superintendent Ross Kasun and expressed her wish to donate to the district a children’s book that she and fellow educator Amy Regan co-authored to help young children during the pandemic, according to information provided by the district.

Pardonner agreed to donate four books so each of the LTPS elementary schools would receive a copy.

“Coping Rhymes for COVID Times,” a colorful, engaging picture book, is designed to support parents, teachers and caregivers as they help children understand and navigate changes affecting their daily lives due to the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine.

“We recognize that these times are more difficult for some than others,” the co-authors said, according to the statement. “We also hope that everyone can discover something positive in the changes taking place, such as cooking and taking walks together, an activity or tradition they want to keep in their lives after we all can return to work and school.”

Wade Forbes illustrated the publication, and Kelsey Pardonner, Pardonner’s daughter, assisted with the graphic design.

The book is available on Amazon.

Since good nutrition helps to enable children to learn, according to the statement, a portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to Feeding America.

Email CaringKidsBooks@gmail.com for more information or to plan a book event.

Amy Regan, left to right, Karen Pardonner and Kelsey Pardonner present copies of "Coping Rhymes for COVID Times" to the Lawrence Township Board of Education on Oct. 14.
From left: Amy Regan, Superintendent Ross Kasun, Karen Pardonner, Slackwood School Principal Jeanne Muzi, Ben Franklin School Principal Jay Billy and Kelsey Pardonner.

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