USS George W.H. Bush chaplain and library staff with the brand new drone

Judith’s Reading Room was just sent this photo of the chaplain and library staff with the brand new drone on board the USS GEORGE W.H. BUSH. USS-George-W.-Bush Drone

These are the soldiers who handle the books that we ship to the aircraft carrier each month.


If you were watching the news this week, you would have seen live footage of the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77) – the aircraft carrier where Judith’s Reading Room has TWO libraries on board! The carrier is the first to have a spectacular unmanned drone aircraft able to fly at night and in extremely dangerous circumstances, without, obviously, risking the lives of pilots.

Author Jerry Spinelli Chats with Judith’s Reading Room and Teens from Children’s Home of Easton

On May 5, 2013, members of the Judith’s Reading Room Board of Directors hosted teens from the Children’s Home of Easton on a trip to Malvern, Pa. to meet Newberry-winning author Jerry Spinelli. The group spoke to the author at the People’s Light and Theater before attending the play adaption of Spinelli’s novel Stargirl.

jspinelli2Spinelli, who won a Newberry Award in 1991 for Maniac Magee and a Newberry Honor in 1998 for Wringer, spoke with the group for an hour and half. Topics ranged from his first rejected novels to his zeal for pet rats. The teens from Children’s Home Of Easton, all of whom are members of the Judith’s Reading Room weekly book club, had just finished reading his novel Stargirl. The teens asked questions and had their books signed.

When asked why he writes for children and young adults, Spinelli pointed out that writes books about children but not specifically for children. “I let the kids rise up to the story,” Spinelli emphasized. He’s also an advocate for losing with grace. In our times, he explained, we feel a need for everyone to win all the time, to the point that when our children and young adults meet their inevitable first failure they feel lost.

jspinelli3

On the subject of writing, he spoke about how he had sent his first novel to forty publishers, all of whom had rejected it. All four of his first novels were rejected. His fifth book, Space Station Seventh Grade, was published in 1982. His overarching message: “Never give up.”

Judith’s Reading Room appreciates Jerry Spinelli for taking the time to meet and  speak with the teens at Children’s Home of Easton and members of the Judith’s Reading Room.  For more information on Jerry Spinelli, Star Girl and his other books including the ones below, please visit his website www.jerryspinelli.com.

Stargirl by Jerry SpinelliSpace Station Seventh Grade by Jerry SpinelliWringer by Jerry SpinelliManiac Magee by Jerry SpinelliHokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli

Libraries dedicated in Cambodia for “Scavenger Children”

On Sunday, April 14, Robert Lucas returned to his ancestral home in Cambodia with two boxes full of children’s books, the latest donations from Judith’s Reading Room.

On Saturday, May 4, Judith’s Reading Room dedicated two libraries in Cambodia. The first library of 76 children’s books in English was dedicated in collaboration with A New Day Cambodia, a nonprofit in Phnom Penh that provides food, shelter and education to more than 100 scavenger children either abandoned or forced to pick trash to help support their families. At A New Day Cambodia, children are taught English to increase their opportunities for securing a job, particularly in the tourist industry.

The second library was inaugurated at Anjali House, located near Angkor Wat, home to the famous Buddhist pagoda in Siem Reap. Anjali House serves 110 children between the ages of 4-18, who come from families so poor they are forced to beg on the streets. Anjali House will receive a custom collection of 87 books ranging in topics from photography to football to science.

The books, 163 in all and written in English, include titles such as Green Eggs and Ham, If You Give a Pig a Pancake and A-Z Picture Dictionary, were given to these two organizations that rescue children from the streets and garbage dumps of one of the poorest countries in the world.

Cathy Leiber, cofounder of Judith’s Reading Room met Lucas during a trip to Los Angeles last year where he was working at The World is Just a Book Away. She was looking to expand the organization’s presence in Asia and Lucas offered to personally deliver the books this month when he moves home to care for his grandfather.

“Growing and expanding international collaborations based upon common goals to foster an appreciation of books, and the pleasure of reading, has the potential to create a positive impression of Americans in Cambodia and promote world peace ,” says Leiber.

Boxing Party #38 – Volunteers Pack 1,158 Books

Photo: Boxing Party #38! Tonight we have a new location we are boxing for: Steadfast House, a home for homeless female veterans and their children to go when they return to civilian life.On Monday night, 20 volunteer Boxers poured into Judith’s Reading Room to select books the troops at our 38th consecutive Boxing Party.  Half of the group decided to pick books for homeless female vets and their children who visit a shelter in Asheville, NC because we all felt the sting of their situation. We learned that each night, there are more than 80,000 vets without a home. Each night. Seven percent are females. Do the math – it’ll break your heart.

At this 38th consecutive monthly party boxing books for the troops, we also shipped 500 books to VA hospitals in NY, NJ and PA, to troops and children they serve in Kabul, Afghanistan, to Sailors on board the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, to Marines in Guam, Japan and the Philippines. We also shipped 269 children’s books to a Peace Corps volunteer, who teaches at Schlip Elementary School in Rehoboth, NAMIBIA.

All in all, 20 Boxers packed up 1,158 books at a cover price value of $10,534! What a huge gift to our troops, thanks to our band of volunteers.

Cathy Leiber is Recipient of CARE’s 2013 Celebrate Literacy Award

Cathy Leiber, who was named award recipient “for exemplary service in the promotion of literacy” accepted the 2013 Celebrate Literacy Award on behalf of Judith’s Reading Room. Judith’s Reading Room was presented with a check and 24 new books inscribed: “This book is a gift from the Colonial Association of Reading Educators — CARE — to Judith’s Reading Room 2013.”

Celebrate Literacy Award Dinner at Cedar Crest College May 1, 2013

May 1st’s Celebrate Literacy Award dinner at Cedar Crest College. (L to R: Scott Leiber, Ana Luhrs, Linda Wellstein, Cathy Leiber, Daniel Leiber — all of whom are Board of Director members of Judith’s Reading Room — Toni Hoffman, Co-President AAUW Easton, and Kathy Sagl, President, Colonial Association of Reading Educators (CARE).

The purpose of this award is to identify and recognize local individuals, agencies or institutions that have made significant contributions to literacy. Recipients have shown exemplary accomplishments in areas such as direct teaching at any grade level, organizing local literacy programs, conducting research in fields related to literacy and providing young people and adults the opportunity to grow through literacy endeavors.