Getting handed new books at the beginning of the school year can be a fun time for some eager students. It’s a chance to dive into a world of knowledge and it gives you an opportunity to look ahead at what is in store for the future school year. Imagine if you found out that the school book that your teacher handed you, was used by one of your favorite celebs years before?
One first grader was ecstatic when her teacher handed her the textbook, ‘Look Away, Keys to Reading,’ by Louise Matteoni, but it wasn’t because she was all that thrilled about learning her vowels and consonants. Instead, it was because she discovered the country singer and judge on the hit show, The Voice, Blake Shelton, had used the book so many years before. When seven-year-old Marley Parker looked at the signatures of those who had it before her, she spotted Shelton’s name. Shelton, who was born in 1976, was a student at the Latta Elementary School in Ada, Oklahoma in 1982, which is where Marley is currently attending.
While Marley is beyond ecstatic that she gets to read from the same book that Shelton himself learned from, her mom isn’t as thrilled, considering the book has been used for nearly 40 years. Her mom, Shelly Bryan Parker, a former educator, took to Facebook to express her disdain for the lack of new materials at the school. While Parker agreed that the book is very educational, she is disappointed that the students aren’t getting more updated supplies.
Parker’s Facebook post happened to come during the fifth day that Oklahoma educators were on strike, for the low pay that they receive in elementary and secondary schools. Evidently, Oklahoma teachers are the lowest paid, according to the 2018 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This strike comes after the Oklahoma Senate passed a new tax package on Friday, which isn’t enough for teachers, who plan on carrying out the strike into next week.
“My daughter’s teacher is an amazing educator,” she said. “And I’m certain that if she had a way to obtain books that are not 40 years old, she would.”
Alongside a picture of a glowing Marley holding the book that shows off Shelton’s signature, Parker shared the following caption…
“Marley is EXCITED that her “new” reader belonged to Blake Shelton but I am EMBARRASSED!!!! I’m 40 and these people are my age!!! Thank you to every teacher/parent/support staffer/etc. for fighting for my kids education!!! Don’t give up until education is FULLY FUNDED!!!!
Commenters shared their thoughts on the lack of updated supplies…
“These books are prized positions to our first grade teachers.. They got all new readers but they love these so much they continue to use them. They have tried to find more!!! This is not a budget thing.”
“Governors are the blame for this and it’s not going away. The people are tired of waiting and watching their money spent on taxes going to other places besides education.”
“The older books are priceless. I’m not saying that the school system doesn’t need new books, but for the last 8 years history has been revised, in my opinion to push a socialist agenda. My daughter went to a private college in P.A. & she would daily share her concerns about her teachers socialist syllabus and it was insane. By the way she was an eastern European professor teaching world history. She finally came to the realization that this was counter to what she believed & came home.”