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Piszek Family Book Giving Continues Tradition

The Piszek Family has always had a tradition of giving. More than 40 years ago, Edward Piszek 1760 emigrated to the United States from Poland. After becoming very successful as an entrepreneur, he embraced a life that was filled with helping others. Two of his children, Bill Piszek ’77 and Helen Piszek Nelson ’70, went to Germantown Academy, and Edward decided to start a tradition of giving a book to every child in the Lower School; one that continues to this day.

While the Lower School faculty and students truly missed seeing Bill Piszek who passed away last year, they were excited to see Beth Piszek P’15’18, Ashley Piszek ’15, and Andrew Piszek ’18 on Zoom all the way from Georgia! Beth Piszek said, “This is one of my favorite times of year! We get to see all the faces of children that we gave books to last year and see new faces as well! I love the book project because I enjoy reading and I like reading to people as well.

“This year we are very excited to be giving a book, Spring Processional—Encounters with a Waking World, whose author is one of our favorite teachers, Craig Newberger!” Newberger 1760 is a retired GA Lower School science teacher and was present at the event.

“Traditions have always been important in our family,” Ashley and Andrew said. “We are so excited to share this tradition even though our dad is no longer here. We are the third generation to be involved in this project and it is extremely rewarding. It is a great way to stay connected to our grandfather and Dad, and to share our love of reading with others. We enjoyed reading Spring Processional and hope you do too!”

Spring Processional is the first of a seasonal series written by Newberger. His goal is to write a book for every season. In fact, Summer Light—Encounters with the Vibrant World has just been published. Newberger gave the Lower School students a glimpse into the book. Playing the sounds of a frog, you could imagine spring arriving. “Listen! You can hear the sound a mile away! Breaking through the night, high notes soaring. In early spring a symphony of sound comes from wetlands. Once quiet by the chill of winter, it starts with the singing of one frog, known as the Spring Peeper. And it’s joined by countless others of its kind. Hold up your thumb everybody! The frog looks big on the screen, but he’s no bigger than your thumb. The bone sack of his throat expands like a balloon. This is what I’ve been waiting for, this is the voice of spring.”

Said Newberger, “I encourage you to read the books, share the book with your family, and refer to it before and after you go outside. I wish you many wondrous and joyful encounters with the natural world.” And then came the best part! Lower School students lined up all around Connor Quad to receive Newberger’s book. And in the tradition of the Piszek family, as they received their very own book, they looked them in the eye, shook their hands, and said “Thank you!”