The recent "Live-Paint" that we shared with the Voorhees Town Council was a home run. Six artists painted six of our new bins, donated by Toter. Thank you team member Renee Kessler for thinking to contact them and follow up. Another treat was having Kim Dickstein, current New Jersey Teacher of the Year, there to spread her contagious energy and joy. Please read Kim's response to the event:
“Would you like to spread literacy in South Jersey?” Let’s hear a resounding YES! BookSmiles is doing incredible work for children, families, and teachers by collecting and distributing books to “book deserts” and making sure that every family has a home library! Larry Abrams, English teacher at Lindenwold High School, made this all happen — he went from big idea to 501c3! Miraculous work and we can help! This tremendous effort cannot be accomplished or continued alone. It was awesome to meet the principal of Lindenwold School 4, Mrs. Dana Lawrence. This local organization has brought thousands of books to her students! I was also very happy to reconnect with Jim and Susan Ward! Jim invited our students in Stand With Camden to collect, sort, and distribute scholastic magazines to schools in Camden, and he also volunteers with Book Smiles. Visit their FB page for more information on how to get involved, or how to get books!
The live painting event at the Voorhees Town Center was nothing short of magical. I went with my parents, who have read to me since I was a baby and continue to support my literacy practices as an adult. My dad still clips articles from newspapers and magazines for me to read, and my mom and my former teachers continue to comment on my Facebook posts, letting me know that my writing has been read and appreciated by someone who cares. This feedback loop is essential! These literacy moments matter from infancy through adulthood.
Special shout out to the Voorhees Town Center and Mayor Michael Mignogna for making the holidays meaningful for all! I even got to see Mario DiNatale taking photos of the tree, and I can’t wait to put up the tree at Wilderness after Thanksgiving! I’m glad this event came early — I think we could use a little extra magic at any time of the year! We were able to see the joy on children and parents’ faces as they selected books and celebrated the annual tree lighting! You couldn’t help but feel merry on Friday night!