Judith’s Reading Room continued their collaboration with The World is Just a Book Away by opening an additional five (5) libraries in East Java, Indonesia each containing 100 children’s books in English. The two organizations have now opened 17 libraries together in that country
Judith’s Reading Room opens two new libraries this week in Japan and Namibia.
Marine Moms contacted Judith’s Reading Room to request books for their sons stationed in Japan. Lcpl Gray Parish announced the opening of a Judith’s Reading Room lending library for his fellow Marines at a base in Japan. He carved space out of his quarters to house the boxes of books volunteer “Boxers” have sent his way. Since September 2010, Judith’s Reading Room has shipped 1,600 books to Marines in Iran, Afghanistan, the Republic of Georgia, Japan Guam and the Philippines.
A newspaper article about Judith’s Reading Room’s work around the world inspired members of a New Jersey church to contact the organization to help one of their members, a Peace Corps volunteer at Schlip Primary School in Rehoboth, Namibia, stock its deteriorating library.
In Rehoboth, south-central Namibia, a library of children’s elementary books arrived thanks to a collaborative effort between Judith’s Reading Room and members of the Flemington Baptist Church. Until now, the school did not have the resources to provide English books before fifth grade. Schlip serves 150 children from kindergarten to grade 7. English is Namibia’s official language but the people of Rehoboth speak either Africaans or Khoekhoegowab, a “clicking” language. Judith’s Reading Room’s donation of 269 books will offer children the chance to learn English starting in kindergarten.
Sunday school children at Flemington Baptist Church in New Jersey undertook a book drive and reached out to Judith’s Reading Room to supplement their collection. They also raised funds to help offset the cost of shipping books.
Judith’s Reading Room Establishes Presence in Central America Thirty years ago, Costa Rica’s Guanacastean people, who wanted their children to have private bilingual education had to send them four hours away to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. Today, in celebration of World Book Day, that is not an issue, thanks to concerned parents who built a school now ranked in the top 30 in Latin America’s oldest democracy.
Like many schools around the world, it is hard enough to acquire children’s books in the local language; it is nearly impossible to secure children’s books in English. To date, Judith’s Reading Room has stepped in to fill that gap in six countries outside the U.S. including Afghanistan, Albania, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and now Costa Rica.
Judith’s Reading Room was approached by an American teacher at Academia Teocali, Deirdre Limoges, a native of New Jersey, who requested a custom collection of children’s books in English to support the efforts of Teocali’s English program. “Promoting literacy and the love of reading is one of our most significant goals,” said Patricia Soto, English Coordinator. “Academia Teocali’s academic standards are high and steadfast and our English program is greatly ambitious,” she added.
Ms. Limoges informed Judith’s Reading Room that the existing library contained just 20 English language children’s books. This donation will impact 150 students, all of whom are viewed as Costa Rica’s future leaders. During her recent home visit, Ms. Limoges visited Judith’s Reading Room and personally hand-picked 182 books with a cover price value of $1,337 that she understood to be ideal for the students. She brought them back to Costa Rica in her luggage and thus increased the size of the school’s English language library by 800%.
Photos and a letter from Karon K. Harden, Academic Liaison for Community Engagement and Service Learning at the American University of Nigera, Yola By-Pass
I am happy to report that thanks to the books we received from the March 2013 shipment from Judith’s Reading Room, we were able to inaugurate our STELLAR project lending library yesterday.
The 70 books were distributed to 35 pupils that we tutor in primary grades 3 and 4 at Musdafa Model Primary School here in Yola. Each pupil took home 2 books. As you can see from the photos, I carefully “packaged” each book in a Hefty Ziploc Freezer bag for extra protection in transit. We want them to last as long as possible (but I’d rather they get dirty being read than stay clean on a shelf somewhere!). I also sent home a laminated letter in Hausa and English with each book explaining the program to the parents and asking them for their support in helping the children to read and to take care of the books. The tutors will also be asking each child about their books when they bring them back.
We tutor these pupils every Monday and Wednesday. The pupils will bring their books back at each tutoring session and exchange them for another … In all we tutor up to 400 pupils per semester, so the more books the merrier.
I hope these pictures help me express my gratitude for your generosity.
An added note, from a correspondence after the the photos were received…I’m glad you like the pictures. By the way, in this culture, people are not taught to smile for pictures like we are – in fact, the default is a straight face, so if you see some of the children straight-faced, don’t think that they are mad or grumpy or anything. I kept telling them to smile, and they kept trying NOT to smile!
Karon K. Harden
Academic Liaison for Community Engagement and Service Learning
Lecturer, Communication Studies
American University of Nigeria
Judith’s Reading Room Military Program Expands to New York – Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization that serves active-duty military and returning vets, expands to New York. Canandaigua VA, New York, is the eighth VA hospital to join its “VA 100” book donation program.
The latest request for books came from the library at Canandaigua VA, southeast of Rochester, New York, where the hospital is seeing more young men and women veterans with children who are currently returning from active duty and utilizing the services of the VA.
The organization will ship 50 new and gently-read children’s books every other month beginning in April to Canandaigua VA in honor of Doris Leiber, mother of Co-Founder, Scott Leiber. Doris, a native New Yorker, member of the Greatest Generation, Navy veteran, WWII, where she served as a WAVE based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and mother of five, will turn 90 in August. “This donation in honor of my mother will enrich lives by providing books to those that do not have access to them,” said Leiber. “Doris Leiber — a member of the Greatest Generation continues to give service through the gift of these books,” he added.
Judith’s Reading Room launched its “VA 100” Program in November 2010 when it began shipping 100 paperback books each month to interested VA hospitals. The idea was inspired by several board members who wanted to honor the veterans in their families. Since November 2010, the organization has shipped 9,507 books worth $81,438 to eight VA hospitals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
The VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa was the first VA hospital to sign up for the “VA 100” Program. Other VA hospitals followed: Coatesville Veteran’s Hospital, the VA in Altoona, Butler Health Care and the PA Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in Pennsylvania; and the VA in East Orange, New Jersey. This month, Judith’s Reading Room expanded to two New York VA hospitals: the VA at Albany and Canandaigua VA.
Judith’s Reading Room announced today its donation of a children’s library on board the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77) aircraft carrier. This is the second library Judith’s Reading Room has donated to the presidential carrier. This donation of 436 children’s books valued at $4,927 will give the 4,500 Sailors more opportunities to stay connected with their children while serving overseas for long periods of time
In collaboration with The World Is Just A Book Away, Judith’s Reading Room opened eight (8) libraries-within-libraries at schools in East Java, Indonesia, as follows:Lois & Buzz Aldrin Library, Fess Parker Library, Muhammad Yunus Library, Desmond Tutu Library, Natasha Richardson Memorial Library, Yo-Yo May Library, Liam Neeson Library and Little Dolphin by the Sea Library
Each Judith’s Reading Room library contains 100 English language children’s books to supplement local language books. Judith’s Reading Room donated today a total of 800 books, valued at $6,400, serving 2,208 school age children at these 8 schools.
New School Library in Albania Stocked with English Books
Students at Rakip Kocibelli Elementary School in the village of Qatrom, near the city of Korca in South-Eastern Albania celebrated the opening of their new school library made possible primarily through 100 English-language children’s books donated by Judith’s Reading Room. Today’s donation expanded the organization’s reach to Europe after its having established libraries in Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
Peace Corp volunteer Dennis Dias contacted the organization in August, having been referred to it by the American Library Association. Dias, based in Qatrom, spearheaded the international collaboration which included the Embassy of France, Darien Book Aid, Friends of Albania and Judith’s Reading Room. “I think this is a testament to what the people can accomplish when they work together,” said Dias. The school marked the occasion by organizing a party in the school’s new library room. Elson Barci, a teacher at the school, worked throughout the celebration checking out books to a line of impatient students. “The opening of the library is an important project for the school because it’s a good way of helping the next generation and developing capacity in the village. You can see the desire in the children’s eyes to see all these books,” said Barci.
Children decorated the room in preparation for the opening of the library with the American flag and a Judith’s Reading Room sign. Ten year old Sajmir, who stood in line for a book explained, “it’s my first time to see so many beautiful English books in one place.” An eager seven year old student approached a teacher and said, “I don’t know English, but can I take one? My cousin will explain it to me.” The faculty expects the new books will motivate students to read more and improve their English. Currently, grades three, four and five receive English lessons twice a week, and there are plans to expand English education in the coming years.
Judith’s Reading Room donated 220 books valued at $1,137 to the Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley, an organization that provided an eight week summer program for 44 low-income children, entering grades kindergarten to sixth, with both academic and recreational activities. The donation is the joint effort to reduce ‘summer slide,’ or the loss of skill, knowledge and motivation acquired during the school year due to the lack of practice over the summer.
Donated 450 books and a mobile library cart valued at $5,926 to Children’s Home of Easton, Easton, PA, a “home away from home” for at-risk youth who cannot live at home through no fault of their own. The donation includes a literacy-rich initiative: the inauguration of a Judith’s Reading Room Book Group. The reading initiative will benefit 150 children and their families each year.