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Wishtree blooms in Whitemarsh Elementary lobby

Wishtree blooms in Whitemarsh Elementary lobby
Library Club in front of the wish tree

New trees at the elementary schools are usually limited to Earth Day and Arbor Day, but Whitemarsh Elementary School has a new tree growing in their lobby — a wishtree. 

The wishtree is the work of the WES Library Club, and it’s based on the book Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. In the story, an oak tree named Red and a crow named Bongo help their human neighbors accept each others’ differences after a new girl in town wishes for a friend.

“I think it’s an important story,” said WES third grader Dean Greco. “You should be nice to people no matter how they’re different from you.”

Cathy Campbell, the WES library media specialist, shared the book with the library club every year but noted that this year’s third graders were particularly moved by the story. “They were invested in all of the emotions that it brought out, and we talked about how to make friends, how to include people, how to make people feel welcome,” said Mrs. Campbell. “It was kind of neat, and they wanted to do something special by creating our own wishtree.” 

The project involved gluing cardboard tubes to form the trunk, painting it, and attaching artificial branches — providing plenty of places for people to add their wishes. 

Third grader Genevieve Fawley’s favorite part of the project was hanging her wish on the tree. “My wish was to sing in front of big crowds,” said Genevieve. “I really like singing, and I’ve been told I have a really good singing voice.” 

The club encouraged all of the students in the school to write wishes and leave them on the tree.