Monday, July 23, 2018
Our annual Spring Book Extravaganza, which is now in its ninth year, gave out over 22,000 new children’s and young adult books.
The books were provided by a number of leading publishers, including Scholastic Book Fairs, and Pioneer Valley Press.
The total value of the donated books exceeded $350,000.
Librarians, teachers and staff from a host of schools in Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, South Hadley, Sunderland, and West Springfield loaded up their cars, vans and pickup trucks until they could hold no more.
"There were teachers lines up ready to go when the doors opened for the three-day event,” David Mazor, executive director of Reader to Reader, said. “It’s always a very joyous event, as so many teachers are starved for resources for their schools. To be able to provide it for free is something we are proud to have done for almost a decade.”
A special thank you to the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation for their sponsorship of this event.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
In mid-June, Reader to Reader hosted a group of mothers from the Care Center for the Athena program, a week-long program aimed at imparting financial and nutritional knowledge, and empowering the mothers to realize that they have their own powerful stories within them through writing and recording spoken word poetry.
This year marked the ninth year of the Athena program.
Everyday, Chef Bill Collins cooked us breakfast and lunch, showing the mothers sample menus and illustrating the health and cost benefits of home-cooked meals as opposed to fast food options. Chef Bill also demonstrated cooking skills, such as carving a chicken and creating simple syrup.
One of our favorite activities during the week was helping the mothers make picture books for their children. They filled their books with pictures of their children and quotes, and wrote heartfelt messages to read to their children. As they worked, they relayed stories about their experiences with pregnancy and childbirth, including all the joys and pains of motherhood. The moms also showed off pictures of their babies and shared funny anecdotes.
Early on in the week, we also led a spoken word poetry workshop with all of the moms where they wrote poems that spoke to their experiences as mothers and with their families. On Tuesday, we went to record the poems that the moms wrote at Northfire Recording Studio in Amherst. While there, the studio’s power went out, interrupting our session, but fortunately, we were able to go back on Wednesday to finish all of the recordings. On the final day of the Athena Program, we went to the Care Center and played the finished recordings of the mothers’ poems for them and their classmates, to celebrate the great work they did this week, all while drinking delicious smoothies.
Another one of the highlights was a financial literacy workshop that was presented by Florence Bank. The mothers learned about budgeting, credit-ratings, and how to manage a debit and credit card.
Throughout the week the mothers received free books and clothes for themselves and their children.
It was a busy week filled with lots of different activities, and perhaps most importantly, lots of delicious food—we had a lot of fun, and can’t wait to create more memories next year!
Monday, June 11, 2018
Reader to Reader, a global literacy organization based in Amherst, Massachusetts, is giving away tens of thousands of new children’s books to schools and outreach programs in the Springfield, Massachusetts-area.
The organization’s Spring Book Extravaganza is donating 22,000 books valued at over $300,000.
The annual event is in its eighth year, and hundreds of boxes of books line the walls at the Chicopee Public Schools Maintenance Department waiting for teachers to pick out what they need for their classrooms.
Chicopee Public Schools serves as the host site of the event each year, and teachers fill cars, vans and trucks with mountains of books.
The books are brand new and are available to schools in Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee and West Springfield. The books span a wide range of ages and interests and include grade levels pre-K to 12.
“It’s an exciting event,” David Mazor, Reader to Reader’s founder. “There were teachers, principals and administrators lined up at the door when we opened at 9:00am!”
David Mazor, Reader to Reader’s founder, adds that "these books are part of our ongoing support for the Reading Success by 4th Grade Initiative. Increased access to books is a key factor in raising literacy rates."
Reader to Reader’s book donations draw praise from teachers and school administrators.
“The books we picked out today are unbelievable!” Margaret Betts, librarian at Maple Elementary in Easthampton, said. “It is an amazing bookfair. Thank you so much for supporting our school in this way. We are lucky to have Reader to Reader partnering with us!"
The event is sponsored by the Chicopee Savings Bank Foundation. Donating publishers include Scholastic Books Fairs, Pioneer Valley Press, and Home Grown Books.
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Our Hurricane Harvey relief efforts continue. More than 8,000 new books for children and young adult readers will be given out by the Houston Independent School District.
The books have a value of $120,000.
Thank you to Scholastic Book Fairs for making this donation possible!
Friday, April 13, 2018
We collected over 6,000 thousand children's books that are going to children in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
For the past decade, Reader to Reader’s Bridgeport Literacy Initiative has donated tens of thousands of new and used books to the children of Bridgeport.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
We just got in a large supply of computers that we are ready to donate, including beautiful 27" iMacs!
Reader to Reader's Computer Donation Program donates new computers, tablets and e-readers, and refurbished Dell and Apple computers to schools with strong need for access to technology.
Computer labs have been built in New York City, on the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Nation, western Massachusetts, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya, Kosovo, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and Trinidad & Tobago.
New computers, including laptop and desktop computers, tablets and e-readers, are reserved for schools and projects already participating in Reader to Reader programs.
Used computers have been refurbished and are completely ready to run right out of the box.
"Thank you for our wonderful computers in our film class and computer lab. The donation has made it possible to build and equip a computer and film lab. Every student and staff member will benefit from this generous donation."
--Navajo Pine High School, Navajo, New Mexico
Monday, March 5, 2018
"Eighteen boxes of donated children's and young adult books have finally made it to their new home at La Biblioteca Electronica in Lajas, Puerto Rico. Thanks to David Mazor and Reader to Reader for your super generous contribution to our book fair post Hurricane Maria. The young people of Lajas are sincerely grateful and totally overwhelmed with the warmth and generosity of people who chose to offer joy in the aftermath of destruction."
Lajas, Puerto Rico
Thursday, February 8, 2018
“I thank you so very much for your wonderful donation to help lift these spirits that were not destroyed but lost. It was a memorable experience to witness such a powerful storm, however it was not enough to blow away our spirits. Many of us picked up a book to pass the time, then another and another. Without electricity, the thirst for entertainment, knowledge, adventure sparked each morning as the sun rose.”
--Aluisa N. Irazany Ortiz and the students from Leonides Morales Rodriguez School
Lajas, Puerto Rico
Lajas, Puerto Rico
Reader to Reader is pleased to help rebuild resources at Leonides Morales Rodriguez High School in Lajas, Puerto Rico. Susan Nadathur and Sita Nadathur came and selected hundreds of books from our inventory.
The hurricane relief project is in collaboration with Wethersfield High School, and their librarian Nella Szilagyi.
Monday, January 22, 2018
We are excited to kick off 2018 with a huge book donation of 20,000 children’s books for low-income children in Mississippi. The total value of the donation is roughly $200,000.
The books will be give out by Mississippi’s rural public libraries.
A very special thank you to publisher Home Grown Books for making this possible.