Monday, April 1, 2013

In New Orleans, Reader to Reader Helps a New School through an Old Connection

Amherst College student and mentor in Reader to Reader’s Read, Think, Share mentoring program Jeon Domingue gives us a guest post on how she discovered her job at Reader to Reader intersected with her childhood in New Orleans.

“Before Hurricane Katrina, public libraries and school libraries in New Orleans presented books that had some kind of interest for the different people in the city. After Hurricane Katrina, the libraries went downhill. Many books were in horrible condition, and the books that were in pretty good condition were not books that many children and teenagers would want to read for fun. The library at my little brother’s elementary school was basically empty, until one day when picking him up I noticed that the library was filled with books. I asked his after-school teacher about the boxes and she told me that they were books donated by Reader to Reader. At the time, I thought that was really nice of them and thought nothing about who it really was that gave those books.

In college, I learned about a work-study job that pays you to read books with students and be around books. I was so excited to hear about this program that I applied, though it was after the application deadline. After being in the program for a while, I was still trying to figure out why the name of the program sounded familiar, and then one day I remembered and realized I was working for Reader to Reader --the same company that helped my brother’s school. Recently, I talked to Dennis at Reader to Reader about my high school and how they help their students get on the right reading level, but sadly do not have many books for those who are on the right reading level. I asked if Reader to Reader could send books to my school too. Now, working at Reader to Reader, I’m helping the school I graduated from. Two boxes of books are headed out next week!”

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