Sam Boak and his Wife Donna Participate in Virtual Right to Read Week for Local Elementary School

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Sam and his wife, Donna, participated in a virtual Right to Read Week by reading a children’s book called “Go Dog, Go!” by P.D. Eastman. The two were joined by their new Golden Retriever puppy, Harper.

Sam Boak, Harper and Donna Boak reading "Go Dog Go!"

We love to see local teachers reaching out and putting so much effort into keeping their students engaged. Teachers deserve so much appreciation throughout the year, but especially during this COVID-19 pandemic for their incredible dedication to their students.

Schools are currently running virtually, but teachers are still observing special occasions and events to keep students engaged from home. For Robinwood Lane Elementary school in Boardman, Ohio, one of those occasions is Right to Read Week. Teachers at Robinwood Lane are conducting this week long event completely through video recordings. One of the themes of Right to Read Week is “Reading is Essential,” where essential workers are recording themselves reading a book for the teachers to share with their students.

One of those essential workers is Sam Boak, Founder and President of Boak & Sons, Inc. Boak & Sons is a commercial and residential exterior contracting company based in Youngstown, Ohio that specializes in roofing, gutters, siding, insulation and sheet metal projects. Sam and his wife, Donna, participated by reading a children’s book called “Go Dog, Go!” by P.D. Eastman. The two were joined by their new Golden Retriever puppy, Harper.

Jamie Malish, Reading Specialist at Robinwood Lane Elementary, invited the Boaks to participate in the activity.

“We want to thank Sam and Donna Boak for continuing to support the students in the Boardman Local Schools,” said Jamie Malish. “Right to Read Week is always a special time in our district, and we didn't want the kids to miss out on it this year. When we were looking for guest readers, I immediately thought of Boak and Sons because of the wonderful coloring contest they ran in our elementary schools earlier this year. We truly appreciate Donna Boak being willing to be one of our 'virtual' guest readers so that we can continue to offer this wonderful experience to our students, even when we're apart. Our students will be so excited to hear stories read by many different members of the community. Thank you Boak and Sons!”

Donna and Sam Boak have always prioritized giving back to their community. The Boaks frequently get the company involved in many charitable activities, and recently held a coloring contest for the Boardman elementary schools. The winner of the contest received over $500 in school supplies for their class.

“This was a great opportunity for us to do something simple and meaningful for students who are stuck at home right now,” said Sam Boak. “We love to see local teachers reaching out and putting so much effort into keeping their students engaged. Teachers deserve so much appreciation throughout the year, but especially during this COVID-19 pandemic for their incredible dedication to their students.”

Sam Boak's wife, Donna, suggested they let Harper join in on the video. She felt that Harper would add to the story and make the kids smile. Donna was excited to participate because she has always felt reading is an important subject to encourage in children of all ages.

“I’m old school – I love books,” said Donna Boak. “I’ve always believed books allow you to tap into the creativity of a young mind. Kids can be whatever they want to be when they read a book; a princess; a superhero. Especially now when kids are isolated and need things to engage their minds; books give them the outlet to be anything they want to be.”

When the initial Stay Home Order took place in Ohio, Donna and Sam Boak decided to prioritize the safety of their employees over keeping the company running at full operation. Boak & Sons stayed open, but was limited to emergency repairs as the majority of the company was laid off. The company qualified as “essential” which gave it the opportunity to continue work, so Sam Boak ensured that enough employees continued to operate to keep homes and commercial buildings safe from leaks and severe damage. Now that the state of Ohio is reopening businesses, Boak & Sons is getting back into the full swing of the busy season.

To learn more about Sam Boak or Boak & Sons, visit http://www.boakandsons.com. To watch the video of Donna and Sam Boak reading for Right to Read Week, click here.

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Brianna Figley
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