We ask that you please make a donation to Judith’s Reading Room, in support of our ongoing recognition of what is being accomplished in the great world of literacy, as well as funding our shipment of children’s books, both domestically and internationally.
On Wednesday, December 19th 2012, Judith’s Reading Room opened its second library in Albania in the historic village of Polenë, outside the city of Korçë. At the primary school there, teachers and students spent the last day of school before the winter break, organizing books and setting-up the English language library. The library will be used to help improve students’ reading skills. The school in Polenë serves about sixty students enrolled in all grade levels from kindergarten to ninth grade, and has a staff of eight teachers. Children have English classes two to three times a week starting in third grade.
In addition to enjoying a visit from Santa Claus, children at the school were able to spend some time looking through the school’s new library which included many interesting titles requested by the teachers. The children made signs expressing their love of reading, and were excited to finally receive the shipment of books. They were happy that Judith’s Reading Room was able to provide them with the books. Dennis Dias, a local Peace Corps Volunteer who coordinated the event, helped teachers distribute books to the children.
Zana Begollari, an English teacher in Polenë, gave a short speech commemorating the event, saying “These books are important to helping us communicate freely in English as a foreign language. Step by step, we must practice the English language. In these books are words we must use daily.” Fredi Mançi, another teacher at the school, explained “These books are new and different. We can all make use of them, the teachers as well, and there is a good possibility of improving our English skills as well in order to share the joy of these books with the children.” Ilir Filovani, the director of this school, said the school had a great need for the books and appreciated the gift.
The children remarked on the familiarity of some characters in the books like Sleeping Beauty and SpongeBob, and were motivated to start reading to learn more about them. One student, Christina, read a passage from her favorite book to the rest of the students present. At the end of the event, Ms Begollari led her English students to say “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Judith’s Reading Room had previously opened a library in the neighboring village of Qatrom.
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, today the Queen Noor Al-Hussein Library serving 315 students and the Jane Goodall Library serving 254 students were opened. In 2012, Judith’s Reading Room opened 12 English-language children’s libraries with a donation of 1,200 books that will serve a total of 3,488 students who now have access to children’s books in English. The value of today’s donation is $1,600 bringing to a grand total the 2012 donation of 12 libraries at $9,600.
Flash-Mob Read-Out with 30 individuals walking/converging while reading from passages in 30 banned books – one for each year since the inception of Banned Books Week in America.
Judith’s Reading Room is also active in providing books to the men and woman who serve, or have served, in the US Military, ourhonored veterans and active-duty soldiers.
Lafayette College’s Kirby librarian Ana Ramirez Luhrs and Erin D’Amelio ’13, a double major in English and French, organized the event along with a number of related activities protesting the banning of books by schools, bookstores, and libraries across the country. Also part of the week, at Lafayette’s Skillman Library, Alan Gribben, professor of English at Auburn University, presented “The Price of Fighting Censorship: Mark Twain Editions Today”. Professor Bianca Falbo and Professor Andrew Smith held an informal roundtable discussion, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell”, of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Storyteller Eva Grayzel performed using Judith Krug’s quotes on censorship as her inspiration.[/note]
30th Anniversary of Banned Books Week: Judith’s Reading Room will honor Judith F. Krug, founder of Banned Books Week, in whose memory the organization is named. Judith Krug, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom for 40 years before her death in 2009 was a towering champion of free speech and a vigorous opponent of censorship.
The American Library Association (ALA) named Judith’s Reading Room as one of eight recipients of this year’s Krug Fund Grant in support of Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week, took place September 30 to October 6, 2012, celebrates the freedom to access information, while drawing attention to the harms of censorship. 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week.
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 its 32nd library today to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital’s Recreation Therapy Room. The Therapy Room aims to return its patients to their highest possible level of function and independence. Today’s donation is comprised of 300 hand chosen books and a mobile cart with a total value of $7,562.
The recreation therapy room is available to more than 200 individuals daily, including patients in the Rehabilitation Hospital, long-term care residents, residents of the supportive independent living apartments on campus and all of their respective families.
“Because of the gift of literature, our patients’ rehabilitation process will be greatly enhanced. Reading has so many benefits that can complement a patient’s journey through rehabilitation,” said Frank Hyland, vice president of Rehabilitation Services. “On behalf of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to Judith’s Reading Room for this generous donation.”
The Judith’s Reading Room mobile library cart includes a variety of books that accommodate the diverse patient population, ranging from 18 to 80 years of age. Patients and their families will be able to benefit from a mix of new fiction, nonfiction, and coffee table books that have been obtained through book publishers and from a generous donation by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Gerhard in honor of their daughter, Kristen.
After establishing its first library at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital’s Pediatric Unit in Bethlehem in February 2010, the founders of Judith’s Reading Room are thrilled to continue their partnership with Good Shepherd. “Giving these special patients the gift of literature, which will help with their therapy, corresponds perfectly with our mission at Judith’s Reading Room,” said Scott Leiber, co-founder, Judith’s Reading Room. “We are grateful to have a wonderful partner in Good Shepherd.”
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.
Judith’s Reading Room delivered a collection of 117 new young adult books worth $1,508 to the Palmer Branch of the Easton Public Library in Easton, PA for its inaugural Young Adult Fest. The YA Fest was created to inspire and maintain a lifelong interest in reading amongst youth between 13-18 years of age. We reached a total of 361 attendees, many of whom heard of our organization for the first time.
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.