Books Filling a Gap in an Educational Crisis!

logoTwo Philadelphia-based Boys & Girls clubs are the recipients of 750 new books from Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization in Bethlehem, Pa.

Cathy Leiber, who cofounded Judith’s Reading Room with her husband Scott, delivered the two mobile library carts to the Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club at 328 W. Coulter St., Philadelphia on Monday, Dec. 23 in advance of a 2 p.m. dedication. The Germantown Boys & Girls Club will also receive a cart.

The books will be used in the club’s Literacy Program, says Libby Lescalleet, executive program officer.  “The more access to books we provide for our kids, the more opportunities they have to dream big,” she says, noting the two facilities serve about 400 youth.

Lescalleet says a focus of the Boys & Girls Club is to augment public education by providing strong literacy and STEM (Science Technology and Math) programs for the population it serves.

“There’s such an education crisis in our schools we need to fill some of those gaps for our kids,” she says.  In addition to the two libraries, which are valued at more than $7,350, Judith’s Reading Room is providing 50 new children’s books for the elementary students who attend the Boys & Girls Club. Leiber will hand them out after the dedication to the students who are present.

The libraries are being donated in honor of Maya Polack, a teacher who graduated from St. Joseph’s University.

Sunday’s Morning Call Feature

Today’s Sunday Morning Call feature! Judith’s Reading Room spreads the ABC’s of literacy! A great article!

mc-judithsrr001-jpg-20131130Judith’s Reading Room has come a long way since its origins in Scott and Cathy Leiber’s Williams Township home.

Not very long geographically, mind you. It is now headquartered in a modest back office on East Third Street in south Bethlehem.

But the books that are its reason for being — the whole spectrum of literature from “Amelia Bedelia” to “Zombie Apocalypse” — have made their way from that nondescript spot to Mazer-Sharif in Afghanistan and Korce in Albania and Padang in Indonesia and a host of other places hardly anyone could pinpoint on a map.

They have also landed closer to home, at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, St. Luke’s KidsCare and many other institutional settings: children’s homes, veterans hospitals, senior centers.