Lacey Township High School first incorporated Etched in Sand into its curriculum in 2014 then in 2015 it had had over 300 high school students read it.
Lacey Township High School educators said that Etched in Sand finally got students reading in earnest. Students interest in Etched in Sand prompted educators to tap into their creative and literary interests. Students filled a display case of a collection of items, pictures and music that represented the people, places and keepsakes in the book. Then some students used their artistic interests to create a CD of songs that they considered to be a playlist of Regina’s life or drafted sketches of scenes from the book. While others used their english skills to develop an entire alphabet for Regina or write her a personal letter about how the book impacted them. Some students preferred to journal about what they learned in the book, but they did it by writing from the perspective of one of Regina’s siblings. Another class decided they wanted to give Regina her own “Happy House” which they created out of a pink bird house (pictured here).
Note from Regina: “As I continue to share Etched in Sand’s messages of resilience, optimism and how to positively impact the life of a child in need, I am constantly blessed to learn how my memoir has affected so many. I was fortunate to have one of the most touching tributes that an author can receive as I visited the students of Lacey Township High School in Ocean County, NJ. Not only was I given my own Happy House (made from a pink birdhouse) and countless handwritten notes in a journal from students on how the book impacted them, I was greeted by a display that left me speechless. In an effort to raise awareness of my visit to the Lacey Township High School, its students and teachers created a heartwarming display that highlighted significant moments and experiences mentioned throughout the book. Please take a moment to view the display below and see how the passion of reading and compassionate teachers can truly motivate and inspire our youth.”
Items included: Orange pants with a Gloria Vanderbilt label, pictures of St. James Elementary School and General Store, Cordwood Beach, Judy Blume books that I read, Amelia Earhart, Geraldine Ferraro, my law school and Superstorm’s Sandy’s effects; two baby Jesus figurines. a statue of the Virgin Mary, a bottle of Vinegar and glue (to represent the Glue Factory house), the Game of Life, Trouble and playing cards, onion grass, clam shells with the name of my siblings written on them in a bed of sand, an old phonograph, a Billy Joel album cover and the lyrics to O-O-H Child and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The letters in the display are all made out of sand.