Judith’s Reading Room’s 10th Anniversary Celebration Honors 10 of its ‘Stand Out’ Libraries 

NEWS RELEASE  
CONTACT:  Cathy Leiber
484-661-6151
 
 Judith’s Reading Room’s 10th Anniversary Celebration Honors 10 of its ‘Stand Out’ Libraries 

 January 28, 2020 — Lehigh Valley, Pa.  This year marks the 10th anniversary of Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization, founded in 2010 in the memory of Judith F. Krug, Director, Office of Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association and cousin to the founders.   Its mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  The organization has fulfilled its mission by establishing 98 libraries in 21 countries with 128,000 books valued at nearly $1.4 million.

Judith’s Reading Room chose to celebrate this milestone by honoring 10 of its ‘stand out’ libraries  A special fund of $5,000 has been set aside to purchase new books for each library. 

 The 10 Judith’s Reading Room ‘Stand Out’ libraries are:

TEACH Rwanda, whose founder, Janet Brown, hails from Easton, Pa was the first to be notified that her organization was selected as one of the ten.  In 2016,  Judith’s Reading Room established its library in Rwanda at the Bright School in Muhanga, where public schools and libraries are rare, with a donation of 137 books valued at $1,181. 

“With Judith’s Reading Room’s help to provide the best books from around the world, Bright School is well-known in the community for children’s love of reading, “said Brown, President and Founder of TEACH Rwanda.   

“By supporting the good work of others, we aspire to share and celebrate people who are doing genuinely astonishing work, instilling in others a love of reading,” said Scott Leiber, Co-Founder of Judith’s Reading Room.

In addition to libraries, Judith’s Reading Room holds an annual competition for the “Freedom Through Literacy Award.”  Initiated in 2015, Judith’s Reading Room has disbursed $33,500 in prize money, honoring 31 individual champions of literacy in the United States, the Philippines, Bhutan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Cambodia, Mexico, Australia, Zimbabwe and Greece.

Applications for the 2020 Freedom Through Literacy Award may be found at www.,judithsreadingroom.org.  Deadline is July 1st.  Winners announced end of July. 

Children at Anjali House, Cambodia

A new photo of children using our books at Anjali House, Cambodia.

Anjali House is a local NGO that is supporting 120 students and their families through education, basic care and the arts. All the children and young adults from 5 to 19 years old come from impoverished families who can’t afford the cost of education and most of the time can only provide a meal a day.

Here is a lshort video that introduces Anjali House

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.