Thursday, May 29, 2014

On the Way to Nepal!

A box of children’s books is beginning its 7,405 mile journey from Reader to Reader’s home in Amherst, Massachusetts, to the Magic Yeti Library in Khunde, Nepal.

 No distance is too great for our book donations!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A wonderful visit with 20 students from E.N. White Middle School

A wonderful visit with 20 students from E.N. White Middle School in Holyoke, MA! 

We took them on a tour of Amherst College and answered questions on everything from classes to cafeteria food. 

They were a smart, fun group with lots of good questions. 

Maybe we'll see them again in the class of 2023!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Reader to Reader Donates Thousands of New Books to Springfield-Area Schools

Reader to Reader, an Amherst-based literacy organization, is donating 15,000 ​new ​children’s books to schools in the Springfield, Massachusetts area. 

The book donation is part of the organization’s annual Spring Book Extravaganza, which donates books to schools in Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, and W. Springfield, Massachusetts.

“We are so excited to give out these books to children in our district’s schools,” said Samuel Karlin, principal at Belcher Elementary in Chicopee. “Reader to Reader has a long history 
​o​f helping our schools.”

​"Getting books into the hands of children is what our organization is all about,"​ says David Mazor, Reader to Reader's executive director. "We love to see the smiles on their faces when they learn they get to keep the books."

Reader to Reader's Spring Book Extravaganza is sponsored by the Xeric Foundation, Chicopee Savings Bank, and the F.I.S.H. Foundation, Inc.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Congratulations to Sylvia Ngo!

Congratulations to Sylvia Ngo, who will be joining our staff this July. 

Sylvia will be our 2014-2015 AmeriCorps VISTA fellow through the Mass Mentoring Partnership's Ambassador of Mentoring host program.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Helping Spanish-Speaking Parents Map a Blueprint for Success

This spring, Reader to Reader has launched a new series of workshops in Holyoke, Massachusetts that help Spanish-speaking immigrant parents understand the college application process.

The program is conducted in Spanish and teaches about financial aid, college-matching, the application process, and how best to motivate and prepare their children for college.

“One of the gaps we have found is in the knowledge-base of immigrant parents,” Reader to Reader’s executive director David Mazor says. “The U.S. system is very different than in Puerto Rico and parents need a comprehensive program so they can assist and advise their children. Since applying for college is a multi-generational process, requiring among other things timely financial information from the parents, it is essential that they understand how the system works. We are pleased to have created a fun, educational program that explores all aspects of the college application process.”

Much of the material needed to understand U.S. higher education is not available in Spanish, so Reader to Reader has been creating and translating materials that cover a wide variety of topics.

The workshops are held over the course of 8 weeks and include field trips to college campuses.

In addition to working with Reader to Reader staff, weekly guest speakers include admissions and financial aid officers from local colleges.

Support for Blueprint for Success comes from John & Elizabeth Armstrong, and the Holyoke Public Schools.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lots of Books for the Family Literacy Fiesta!

Stephanie Sanabria is always looking for new ways to engage the students at Kennedy Middle School in Springfield, Massachusetts.  As the City Connects Site Coordinator for the school, she and the teachers and students worked together to create a family Literacy Fiesta, featuring food, games, crafts, and lots of books.

We were there to help create another "Book Your Vacation" -- a Reader to Reader book donation program that helps elementary and middle school kids build their own home libraries through book giveaways just before school vacations.   

Stephanie hosted Kennedy's first Book Your Vacation during a school day in October, but this time she made it part of an evening event, so quite a few Kennedy middle schoolers were able to bring younger siblings to pick out books as well.

A new book to take home during vacation week can keep students building literacy skills outside of school time -- and the families of Kennedy have some fun reading ahead of them.  Here's Stephanie getting a head start with one of last night's visitors!

Funding for our Massachusetts book donations comes from the Xeric Foundation and the F.I.S.H. Foundation, Inc.