2021 Holiday Book Drive ….Books Not Toys, For a Change *UPDATED*

Books Not Toys, For a Change..Info & Updates
Barnes & Noble Patrons in Wyomissing Help Improve Lives

Judith’s Reading Room, a 501(c)3 based in eastern PA was selected — for the 2nd year in a row — as the Barnes & Noble Wyomissing PA 2021 Holiday Book Drive Charity.  From November 1st, and running straight through the holiday season — patrons at the location were able to donate a book or two at checkout for a child in need and forever change that child’s life.

As an alternative to the expected toy shortage this holiday season, Judith’s Reading Room suggests that families consider buying books not toys — books for your family and for families who cannot afford to buy them.  Barnes & Noble makes this act of generosity easy.

“Since Judith’s Reading Room’s inception in 2010, Barnes & Noble has placed confidence in our ability to get donated books into the hands of less fortunate children here and around the world,” noted Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.  She added, “It is impossible to state how emotional it is for families to receive new books.”

Barnes and Noble Holiday Book Drive for Judith’s Reading room UPDATES!

JANUARY 21, 2022… Please see these exceptional photos of books — donated during the 2021 Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive — that were shipped and received by Derek Witmer’s 2nd grade in Harrisburg. We are thrilled that the books are loved so much!

JANUARY 21, 2022… Below please see a few photos from Mosaic Preparatory Academy. The generous books from Barnes & Noble have made a noticeable difference there!

Hi Cathy!
Please find attached the photos of the wonderful book donations you provided us through Barnes and Noble!
In the photos is one of our scholars who “purchased” a SpongeBob book, our library display so that kids could browse the new books for the vending machine, and some of the books featured in the vending machine!
Thank you so much for your generous donations. The kids are so excited!
Ariel
Professor Ariel Birdoff (she/they)
School Library Media Specialist
Mosaic Preparatory Academy

JANUARY 19, 2022… JRR donated 46 YA books to Children’s Home of Easton yesterday.  The books were hand-picked out of the generous 2021 Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive.  In May, 2012, JRR established a library at CHE with an initial donation of 450 books.  An important part of that donation was the commitment to support their first-ever Book Group.  Each month for years, JRR bought 10 copies of a book they chose for this literacy-rich experience.  The Book Group is still alive and well all these years later thanks to the superb dedication of CHE’s Marlene Arnholt.

JANUARY 11, 2022… Attached are photos from Harkins House, a juvenile residential center near Portland, Oregon where many YA books were sent. Thank you again to Barnes & Noble for selecting Judith’s Reading Room as their 2021 Holiday Book Drive Charity.

NOVEMBER 19, 2021...Thank You…Thank You…Thank you…to all the holiday shoppers who have purchased books for Judith’s Reading Room. So far, five large boxes have been picked up and will be sent to many of our libraries and Freedom Through Literacy Award winners throughout the world. Thank you Barnes and Noble, Wyomissing, PA for choosing us as your holiday charity.

Announcing – 2022 Freedom Through Literacy Award!

Seeking Champions of Literacy

Judith’s Reading Room is pleased to announce its 8th annual Freedom Through Literacy Awards. There is no cost to apply and it is open to champions of literacy from around the world. Apply now for the 2022 Freedom Through Literacy Award at www.judithsreadingroom.org/freedom-through-literacy-award. Deadline for submissions is July 1. Winners will be announced end-July and will be honored at an exclusive online event Sunday, September 18.

Judith’s Reading Room, a non-profit literacy organization, founded in 2010 in the memory of Judith F. Krug, a librarian — through this signature event — recognizes the achievements of teachers, librarians, poets, writers, booksellers, educators and literacy not-for-profit organizations. Applicants are judged on five criteria including how their philosophy about literacy guides their work.

The organization’s $5,000 Freedom Through Literacy Award was inaugurated in 2015 to pay tribute to those on the front line of literacy. The 2022 Awards include $2,500 for the Grand Prize Winner and $1,500 for the Judith’s Award Winner. And, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, up to four applicants may share a Board Option Prize, totaling $1,000.

APPLY NOW!

To date, the organization has awarded $43,500 in Freedom Through Literacy Award prize money to 40 individual winners in 12 countries: Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cyprus, Greece, Honduras, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, the U.S.A. and Zimbabwe. Winners hail from 7 different US states.

The organization’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy. That mission has been fulfilled by establishing 103 libraries in 22 countries with 131,470 books donated worth over $1.4 million.

2022 Freedom Through Literacy Award Announced

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
www.JudithsReadingRoom.org

2022 Freedom Through Literacy Award Announced
Organization Seeks Champions of Literacy

January 3, 2022 — Judith’s Reading Room is pleased to announce its 8th annual Freedom Through Literacy Awards. There is no cost to apply and it is open to champions of literacy from around the world. Apply now for the 2022 Freedom Through Literacy Award at www.judithsreadingroom.org/freedom-through-literacy-award. Deadline for submissions is July 1. Winners will be announced end-July and will be honored at an exclusive online event Sunday, September 18.

Judith’s Reading Room, a non-profit literacy organization, founded in 2010 in the memory of Judith F. Krug, a librarian — through this signature event — recognizes the achievements of teachers, librarians, poets, writers, booksellers, educators and literacy not-for-profit organizations. Applicants are judged on five criteria including how their philosophy about literacy guides their work.

The organization’s $5,000 Freedom Through Literacy Award was inaugurated in 2015 to pay tribute to those on the front line of literacy. The 2022 Awards include $2,500 for the Grand Prize Winner and $1,500 for the Judith’s Award Winner. And, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, up to four applicants may share a Board Option Prize, totaling $1,000.

To date, the organization has awarded $43,500 in Freedom Through Literacy Award prize money to 40 individual winners in 12 countries: Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cyprus, Greece, Honduras, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, the U.S.A. and Zimbabwe. Winners hail from 7 different US states.

The organization’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy. That mission has been fulfilled by establishing 103 libraries in 22 countries with 131,470 books donated worth over $1.4 million.

** END **

Judith’s Reading Room Packs Book Vending Machine

On Giving Tuesday. Pennsylvania Non-Profit Packs Book Vending Machine at Mosaic Prep Academy in East Harlem, NY

On this Giving Tuesday, Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization based in eastern Pennsylvania with offices in New York City, joined hands with its 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award winner, Dr. Lisette Caesar, Principal, Mosaic Preparatory Academy in East Harlem to “stuff” her school’s first-of-its-kind Book Vending Machine with 50 children’s books.

Judith’s Reading Room donated the books thanks to generous patrons at the Wyomissing, PA Barnes & Noble.  That store chose Judith’s Reading Room for the 2nd year in a row as its “Holiday Book Drive Charity.”  Mosaic Prep Academy is just one of a a dozen recipient organizations that Judith’s Reading Room has selected to receive the donated books. Today’s Giving Tuesday gift of 50 hand-picked books is valued at $436.

The Book Vending Machine is the brainchild of Dr. Caesar in response to her students’ less than enthusiastic passion for reading following the shutdown of schools as a result of COVID-19.  To spark a renewed passion for reading, scholars earn coupons for being good Samaritans or for reading a certain number of books.  They exchange coupons for a token to unlock a book of their choice from the bright blue Book Vending Machine.  

To entice even the youngest scholars, Judith’s Reading Room selected “I Can Read!” books as well as Caldecott Medal winners such as Drummer Hoff, and all-time favorites including The Story of Ferdinand and The Runaway Bunny.  “The key to excite a child to read is simple.  “You need to give them books that they want to read, that they choose to read,” stated Cathy Leiber, President and Co-Founder, Judith’s Reading Room.

Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  That mission has been fulfilled by establishing 103 libraries in 22 countries with nearly 131,000 books donated worth over $1.4 million. Its annual Freedom Through Literacy Award offers cash prizes to champions of literacy around the world.  Visit www.judithsreadingroom.org to learn more about previous winners and how to apply for the 2022 Award beginning in early January 2022.

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Jabulani Community Center-Judith’s Reading Room Library #103

Adult Community Literacy Program awarded a custom Judith’s Reading Room Library

November 21, 2021 — Judith’s Reading Room dedicated its 103rd library today at Jabulani Community Center in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  This custom library contains books designed for teenagers and adults who, for whatever reason, find themselves grown but not fully literate.

The difficulty was to find appropriate adult-level reading materials with locally relevant stories.  Books were out of print but soft copies were provided on the website of a South Africa publisher.  The library contains very simple entry-level reading books to more complex and detailed stories. Primary and secondary teachers facilitate the program in the evening, earning them additional income.

“Giving teenagers and adults in any country, in any community, the opportunity to come to a community center and learn to read without judgement helps empower parents and raise literate children,” said Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.

This is the second library Judith’s Reading Room has dedicated in Zimbabwe with its nonprofit literacy partner, Children in the Wilderness.  “Watching someone work their way through a sentence that they weren’t able to do before is truly heart-warming,” states Sarah Adams,  CHE.

 

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Adult Community Literacy Program-Judith’s Reading Room Library #103

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
www.JudithsReadingRoom.org

Adult Community Literacy Program awarded a custom Judith’s Reading Room Library

November 21, 2021 — Judith’s Reading Room dedicated its 103rd library today at Jabulani Community Center in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  This custom library contains books designed for teenagers and adults who, for whatever reason, find themselves grown but not fully literate.

The difficulty was to find appropriate adult-level reading materials with locally relevant stories.  Books were out of print but soft copies were provided on the website of a South Africa publisher.  The library contains very simple entry-level reading books to more complex and detailed stories. Primary and secondary teachers facilitate the program in the evening, earning them additional income.

“Giving teenagers and adults in any country, in any community, the opportunity to come to a community center and learn to read without judgement helps empower parents and raise literate children,” said Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.

This is the second library Judith’s Reading Room has dedicated in Zimbabwe with its nonprofit literacy partner, Children in the Wilderness.  “Watching someone work their way through a sentence that they weren’t able to do before is truly heart-warming,” states Sarah Adams,  CHE.

Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.   In 11 years, that mission has been fulfilled by establishing 103 libraries in 22 countries.

 

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Judith’s Reading Room visits 2021 Honorable Mention Winner! Updated!

November in NYC with 2021 Honorable Mention Freedom Through Literacy Award winner, Dr. Lisette Caesar

Early November…

Judith’s Reading Room’s 2021 Honorable Mention Freedom Through Literacy Award winner, Dr. Lisette Caesar, Principal, Mosaic Preparatory Academy and Asst. Principal Jacqueline Wilson plus Scott and Cathy Leiber met in early November in NYC to discuss her innovative literacy initiatives at Mosaic Preparatory Academy in East Harlem. Photo US Above: Scott Leiber, Jacqueline Wilson, Dr. Lisette Caesar. Below: Dr. Lisette Caesar and Cathy Leiber.

Scott and Cathy Leiber of Judith’s Reading Room was honored to attended the ribbon cutting for a creative, cutting-edge innovation – a book vending machine at Mosaic Preparatory Academy in East Harlem, New York. One of our 2021 Honorable Mention Freedom Through Literacy Award winners, Lisette Caesar, was the brain child of this project.

One memorable comment from a student was “I thought I would never see a vending machine with books. I’ve only seen them with candy.”💕

 Books Not Toys, For a Change

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
www.JudithsReadingRoom.org

Books Not Toys, For a Change

Barnes & Noble Patrons in Wyomissing Help Improve Lives

October 26, 2021 —  Judith’s Reading Room, a 501(c)3 based in eastern PA is proud to announce its selection — for the 2nd year in a row — as the Barnes & Noble Wyomissing PA 2021 Holiday Book Drive Charity.  Beginning November 1st, and running straight through the holiday season — patrons at the location can donate a book or two at checkout for a child in need and forever change that child’s life.

As an alternative to the expected toy shortage this holiday season, Judith’s Reading Room suggests that families consider buying books not toys — books for your family and for families who cannot afford to buy them.  Barnes & Noble makes this act of generosity easy.

“Since Judith’s Reading Room’s inception in 2010, Barnes & Noble has placed confidence in our ability to get donated books into the hands of less fortunate children here and around the world,” noted Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.  She added, “It is impossible to state how emotional it is for families to receive new books.”

Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  The organization has established 102 libraries in 22 countries serving tens of thousands of kids.

To learn more about Judith’s Reading Room and its annual Freedom Through Literacy Award visit www.judithsreadingroom.org.

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Harrisburg, PA Schools Win Recognition for their “Diversity & Inclusion” Library

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
www.JudithsReadingRoom.org

Harrisburg, PA. Schools Win Recognition for their “Diversity & Inclusion” Library
 Books give power to open discussion about topics at any grade level.
October 14, 2021 — Diversity and inclusion in the classroom starts early in Harrisburg, PA schools, thanks to the leadership and initiative of an exemplary second grade teacher.  Derek Witmer, winner of a 2021 Judith’s Reading Room Freedom Through Literacy Award, developed and curated a “Diversity and Inclusion” library at Paxtonia Elementary School as a tool to share with fellow teachers.

Hailed by his principal, Julia Batdorf, as a “conscientious and exemplary teacher,” Witmer’s important project is now replicated in a second school with a donation of $500 from Judith’s Reading Room.  South Side Elementary School in Harrisburg, PA under the leadership of 2nd grade teacher Stacey Chyr, is the recipient of Judith’s Reading Room’s 102nd library. “The library is up and running,” said Chyr.  She added, “The teachers are really excited about having such a great collection of books.”  Twenty-six books will be available to just over 800 students in grades Kindergarten through Fifth grade.

Curated by Derek Witmer, the library includes books which touch on topics such as general diversity, acceptance, gender identity, familial make ups, disabilities, and SEL; as well as stories about a student who has a parent in prison, or families dealing with immigration or language barriers, and stories that tackle with the loss of a parent.  “The extensive range of books Derek curated sheds light on the complexity and reality of students in classrooms across America today,” said Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.

“The more representation we are able to see in our children’s literature, the more accepting and inclusive a world we can build,” said Witmer.

Resources and discussion cards accompany the library for teachers to familiarize themselves with the topics and feel comfortable leading discussions with their students.

The mission of Judith’s Reading Room is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  To date, the organization has fulfilled that mission by establishing 102 libraries in 22 countries with over 128,000 books worth nearly $1.4 million.

Applications for the 2022 Freedom Through Literacy Award will be posted on the website at www.judithsreadingroom.org in January 2022.

 

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Banned Books Weeks Visit to Titcomb’s Bookshop

In celebration of Banned Books Week, Scott and Cathy Liber, co-founders of Judith’s Reading Room, visited Titcomb’s Bookshop, Sandwich, MA. On the right, is Ellen Speers, manager of this outstanding independent bookstore founded in 1969 in MA by the Titcomb family.
Titcomb’s Bookshop had a large display of banned books in honor of the week.
“ADVANCE LITERACY”
#judithsreadingroom#bannedbooksweek
#independentbookstores#titcombs#literacy
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