CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
Judith’s Reading Room Dedicates its 105 Library
Organization fulfills “Book Wish List” from Louisiana youth in Residential Care
December 8, 2022 — Judith’s Reading Room, a literacy nonprofit founded in 2010 with its mission to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy, announced its 105th library dedicated in Ruston, Louisiana at the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home (LUMCFS), an organization providing intensive residential care to children from traumatic backgrounds with significant emotional and behavioral needs. The 105th Judith’s Reading Room library contains 124 books valued at $1,449.
The founders of Judith’s Reading Room, Scott and Cathy Leiber, learned about the comprehensive therapeutic services of LUMCFS while on a riverboat cruise of the lower Mississippi River in September 2022. While on an excursion, Lynette Tanner, owner of Frogmore, a working cotton farm in rural Louisiana, shared with the Leibers her passion for supporting the mission of LUMCFS. “The compassionate work of LUMCFS to provide services to the most vulnerable boys and girls ages 11-17 caught our attention,” said Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.
With the idea that children healing from trauma can “get out of their heads” and into a good story with a book and find solace, they might also find friends who are interested in the same author. The book wish list was compiled by the youth and includes best-selling and award winning books by Christopher Paolini, Dav Pilkey, Scott Cawthon, Rick Riordan, R.L. Stine, Tui Sutherland and Jeff Kinney. Judith’s Reading Room has committed to replenishing the books since it is hoped that children will take their favorite books with them when they return to a stable home or loving household.
“Children come to LUMCFS from all kinds of challenging situations, and while they are with us, we aim to provide the love and care that is so needed. We are grateful to Judith’s Reading Room for supporting the healing journey of these children through reading,” shares Sarah Head, LUMCFS Director of Development.
Judith’s Reading Room
Judith’s Reading Room was founded in 2010 in the memory of the founders’ first cousin, Judith F. Krug, who served as Director of Intellectual Freedom for the American Library Association for 40 years. The organization has fulfilled its mission by establishing 105 libraries (and counting!) in 23 countries with 132,000 books worth $1,421,000.
“The Freedom Through Literacy Award,” established in 2015, honors individual champions of literacy from all disciplines around the world— teachers, librarians, authors, researchers, nonprofit literacy organizations, educators — anyone who has done exemplary work to instill in others a love of reading. To date, the organization has disbursed $48,500 in cash awards to 47 individual champions of literacy. Applications for the 2023 Freedom Through Literacy Award are available on-line at www.judithsreadingroom.org. The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2023.
The Founders’ Award, inaugurated in September 2022, is a cash prize at the discretion of Judith’s Reading Room co-founders, Scott and Cathy Leiber, to honor literacy heroes who have had to overcome immense obstacles in order to enrich lives through literacy. Two winners were named in 2022 with a cash prize of $1,000 each: Ms. Basarat Kazim, Alif Laila Book Bus Society, Lahore, Pakistan and Ms. Simon Ke, Anjali House, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The Literacy Chair Award, established in October 2022, is in honor of —or in memory of — a champion of literacy nominated by a Judith’s Reading Room member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Lisette Caesar, founder and past-principal of Mosaic Preparatory Academy in East Harlem, New York is the recipient of the 2022 Literacy Chair Award.
Louisiana United Methodist Children & Family Services (LUMCFS)
Louisiana United Methodist Children & Family Services is a nonprofit organization with a 120-year history dedicated to the well-being of Louisiana’s children and families. LUMCFS programs include the state’s most intensive, comprehensive residential treatment in the three Methodist Children’s Homes; the OWL Equine Center’s therapeutic services for children; four Life Skills Training Centers for children in foster care; Methodist Foster Care’s therapeutic foster care program, the Kinship Navigator program, and the Louisiana Foster Care Support Organization; and the Family Counseling Center. For more information, visit www.LUMCFS.org.