Photos: (top) Children with JLP volunteer Catherine Testorf and (bottom)JLP volunteers Colleen O’Hagan, Virginia Hartmere, Kristin Bischof, Book Club Project Co-Chair Jennifer Manthei, Amazing Afternoons Program Director Mary Figueroa, Book Club Co-Chair Christine Weidner, LiviaMorjikian,Theresa Breskin, Julia Nakayama.
JLP Promotes Children’s Literacy Through Book Club at Mt Vernon School – Pelham,NY Feb. 13, 2009
Following in the footsteps of the Junior League of Pelham’s 2007-2008 Provisional Project, the second annual “One-Day Book Club” on Wednesday, February 4th was a tremendous success. The JLP held the event at the Amazing Afternoons after-school program at theEdwardWilliamsElementary School inMount Vernon. The Amazing Afternoons program, sponsored by Westchester Jewish Community Services, serves 125 children. The program provides them with a safe place after school and teaches academic, health and social skills. Mary Figueroa, the program director, said, “This year, we have welcomed significantly more homeless and ELS (English as a second language) students into the program, than in prior years. It is just nice for the students to have an adult reading interaction, since many do not have this opportunity other than with their teachers. Thank you to the JLP for making this a special event which creates wonderful memories for the children.” The JLP’s One Day Book Club focuses on literacy and provides each child with two grade-appropriate books, one fiction and one non-fiction, to take home. At this year’s event, JLP volunteers read one or both books, conducted a discussion, activity or craft, and served healthy snacks to the children. First graders attentively listened toCorduroy,by Don Freeman, and then dressed cutout bears with corduroy overalls and buttons. Fifth graders took turns reading aloud fromSurviving Sharks, and played “shark attack” – a hunt-and-find game that let them experience a shark’s sonar-like sixth sense. The children enjoyed bananas, clementines, cheese sticks and oatmeal raisin cookies.To find out more about the Amazing Afternoons program and how you can help enrich the lives of these children, please contact program director Mary Figueroa at 914.699.5296.