Hackensack Johnson Public Library BookFest! 2013

Read To Know’s BookFest! at Hackensack’s Johnson Public Library was a huge success! 125 children and adults came away with 1,400 books. Director Lolly Burgin, Norma Levy, Phyllis Schneiderman, and Carol Anne Mathes helped out at the event itself. Setup went very well, thanks to Susan Mengers, Mary Lee, Chris Schultze, Darius Calvo, Gloria Thomas, Abigail Metzger, and Linda and Gabriel Vorhees.

Paterson Public Library BookFest! 2013

Each Read To Know BookFest! is different and this one was no exception! The basic results were outstanding. 205 children and adults took home about 1,150 books. What was unique was the presence of several Paterson Girl Scouts and their leaders. While some Scouts helped attendees find books and keep the displays organized, two high school Scouts did face painting and other supervised craft activities.

Mayor Jeffrey Jones stopped by, and a  reporter from the Record interviewed attendees and took pictures. Our own Carol Ann Mathes took many pictures as well, some of which have been posted on Read To Know’s Facebook and will be posted in the Photo Gallery section of this website.

BookFests! could never happen without help from many people. Here is a small list of people to whom we are very grateful:

• Children’s Librarian, Gwendolyn Ndubiesi, who put up the posters made by the library afterschool program and sent children’s room visitors up all morning.
• Mary Peragine, who managed the children’s poster making.
Mary Wilson, assistant Library Director, who was available for every mini-crisis.
• Those who helped with Friday’s setup: Dot Shevlin, Virginia Lambert, Chris Laldee, and Chris Schultze.
• Those who helped give books away on Saturday: Norma Levy, Lynne Vanderveer, Carol Ann Mathes, Phyllis Schneiderman, Etrudes Williams, Olga Goldsmith, and Dolores Most.
• The Girl Scouts: Zhyana Allen, Taj’Janae Jackson, En’Janae Broughton, Sara Kincherlow-Warren, Kayla Simmons, Brianna Ramos, Caitlyn Ramos, Taylor Carter, Isabelle Briera, Jamel Brown, Nelly Celi, Chrismery Cruz, Shanael Paulino.
• The Girl Scout leaders: Ms. Adrienne Fulcher, Ms. Alicia Fields, and Ms. Liz Smith.
• Mr. Marc-Damon Smith and Paterson Great Falls YouthBuild members

BookFest! Fall 2012

Each BookFest! has had its own unique characteristics. This fall, BookFest! at Hackensack’s Johnson Free Public Library came only a couple of weeks after Hurricane Sandy, making advance planning much more challenging. Sticking to our basic goal of helping kids find and take home books, about 140 children and adults selected approximately 1200 books. Nearly all the books were gone by 1 PM! Among the attendees were families from Moonachie that had lost everything in the recent storm.
Helping with Friday setup were Norma Levy, Dot Shevlin, Carol Ann Mathes, Lolly Burgin. Chris Schultze,Chris Ladlee and Jamel Jones. Craig, a Hackensack Public Library custodian, was most helpful. The Saturday crew consisted of Phyllis Schneiderman, Sue Kaufman, Cindy Mierop, Norma Levy and Lolly Burgin.

BookFest! Spring 2012

Saturday, March 31st marked Read To Know’s sixth BookFest! at the main Paterson Library. Kids and parents braved not only the rain but a demonstration and march in front of the library to get their books. Volunteers from the Junior League of Bergen County and Great Falls YouthBuild joined forces with Read To Know volunteers to set up, help attendees find books, and conduct story times and craft activities. As has been the case in the past, library staff members went out of their way to make us feel welcome and fill our needs.
Many people helped to set up the event on Friday and on Saturday at BookFest! itself. On Friday, the library staff set up the room and YouthBuild members unloaded the van and arranged the books. Special thanks to Carol Ann Mathes, Chris Schultze, Dot Shevlin and Lolly Burgin for help loading, unloading and directing the setup.
On Saturday, YouthBuild members took over the door duty. Junior Leaguers led by Elizabeth Clothier helped the children with crafts projects. Phyllis Schneiderman and Linda Wurtzell held impromptu story hours. Carol Ann Mathes took pictures of the activities. Other volunteers helped attendees find books and replenished the shelves.
All in all, it was another successful BookFest!
Our special thanks to Marc-Damon Smith, Director, and Great Falls YouthBuild: Shah Ahmed, Joshua Cruz, Octavio Cruz, Jasmine Davis, Quadir Johnson, Kassandra Lopez, Artie Nixon, William Rivera, Hassan Wright, Juniesha Ferguson.
Junior League Members Laura Benrmann, Deborah A Jackson, Katie Scully, Elizabeth Clothier, Roopa Saggar,
Mary Wilson and the Paterson Free Public Library staff,
AND last but not least our Read To Know volunteers: Norma Levy, Frances Harrison, Joyce Agard-Jones, Chris Schultze, Jean-Luc Gilbert, Joan White, Wendy Herrera, Phyllis Schneiderman, Cindy Mirop, Linda Wurtzell, Dot Shevlin, Carol Ann Mathes, Lolly Burgin.

Read To Know holds Fall BookFest! 2011 at Hackensack’s Johnson Free Public Library

Read To Know’s fall BookFest! was held Saturday, November 5th, at the Johnson Free Public Library in Hackensack. 167 children and adults selected about 1500 books. A dozen volunteers helped each child find just the right book.

An added feature was a surprise visit from Adele Taylor, founder of Adele’s Literacy Library. Adele brought some extra books and also read to the children.

It is a big job to transport so many books and set up the room. This year the job was made easy by the help of members of Great Falls YouthBuild. Supervised by Chris Schultze, the young people unloaded the books and set up the room. Their work made Saturday morning easy.

There were some obstacles to overcome this year, not the least of which was the previous week’s snowstorm. The snowstorm had left the library and many of our volunteers without power. The library had only reopened Friday!

A great big THANK YOU to Barb Schuitt and the Johnson Free Public Library staff, Great Falls YouthBuild and Read To Know’s volunteers*, and, most of all, to all the children and their parents who came and selected books. These are the people who make it all worthwhile!

* Volunteers were: Susan Kaufman, Carol Ann Mathes, Dot Shevlin, Pat Kraynak, Phyllis, Miriam Moirenyer, Wendy Herrara, Chris Schultze, Norma Levy, Marjorie Gereb, Jennifer Pataki,Jean-Luc Gilbert, and Jonathan Fladung.

Fall 2010 BookFest! Breaks All Records

Breaking our previous records, 246 children and adults took home nearly 2,000 books at Read To Know’s fall Bookfest! at the Johnson Free Public Library in Hackensack Saturday November 13th. By 11 AM, the starting time, the room was already full of children and adults selecting books.

Adele Taylor, 15 year old founder of Adele’s Literacy Library, read stories to groups of children while others decorated their own bookmarks. In addition to her reading, Adele and her mother Milo also brought additional books for the children to take home. Everyone also enjoyed the snacks provided by Joyce Agard-Jones.

Many people helped make the day a success. Barb Schuitt and the library staff had the room ready and had helped enormously with publicity. Back here at the office, Lynn Bagley, Fidelma Winters, and Pat Zisa sorted and boxed books, Mike Lawlor, Carol Ann Mathes and Chris Schultze loaded Mike’s van and this same group plus Linda Wurtzell, Monica Calvo, Darius Calvo and Norma Levy set up the room.

As the doors opened Saturday, Pat Cumberbatch was right there handing out bags and keeping our count. During the event, Norma Levy, Jennifer Fiore, Judy, Michael and Alex Dragone, Dot Shevlin, Diane Nathanson, Ginny Bryan, Chris Schultze, and Jean-Luc Gilbert all helped make a memorable event. Special thanks to Chris Schultze who doubles as an AmeriCorps worker and a volunteer for the box and books signs, flyers and arrows that made it easier both to set up and for people to find us.

We were joined by Jillian Agnello, AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador, who works with Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc. Jillian set up a table with fascinating creepy-crawlies from New Jersey rivers, and helped educate kids about the importance of not littering because the litter ends up in the river and therefor the ocean.

Plans are already underway for Read To Know’s spring Bookfest!, April 4, 2010 at the Paterson Free Public Library, so save your books and come join the fun! Maybe we can set a new record!

Mini-BookFests! in Summer 2010

Instead of one BookFest!, Read To Know participated in several events sponsored by other organizations this summer. We were thus able to reach more children in Paterson, Hackensack and Englewood. Here’s where we attended or donated books to:

July 24 – Vincente Tibbs Day Care Center street fair: It was HOT! It was MUGGY! and Read To Know adult and kid volunteers joined the other parents and staff volunteers who braved the heat. How we all wished we were helping wash cars in the lot across the street!

August 6 – Hackensack Recreation Department Summer Day Camp party at Foschini Park: August 6th was an exciting day for the Hackensack recreation department summer campers and Read To Know was happy to be part of it. While the children spent much of the day in activities, including a water slide, for much of the day, groups of children stopped by and selected books to take home. Volunteers Andrew Fusco, Chris Schultze and Lolly Burgin helped the children find books appropriate to their age and interest. All told, about 150 children took home about 250 books.

August 12 – Paterson Recreation Department “Day in the Park” for summer day camp children: Read To Know had our own booth, set up by the Recreation Department’s organizers. Classes of day camp kids, all with their own t-shirt color, came to our booth and selected books to take home. Paterson’s Mayor Jeffrey Jones, who spoke at the event, stopped by to check out the books.

August 28 – Place Paterson Street Fair

September 12 – Grandparents and Relative Caregivers Gala

All told, we distributed nearly 1,000 books to preschool and school age children. The kids were enthusiastic about the books, and several asked to take books home to a younger brother or sister. We actually had to convince one or two teachers to permit children to take more than one book!

Paterson BookFest! Spring 2010

A description of Paterson 2010 BookFest!, where Read To Know was joined in giving away books by Ridgewood’s Junior League, will be posted as soon as we have overcome some technical difficulties. A wonderful time was had by all!

Hackensack BookFest! Fall 2009

Read To Know held its first BookFest! in Hackensack in partnership with the Johnson Free Public Library. We welcomed almost 200 children and adults to the event on Saturday, November 21st. Read To Know volunteers helped each attendee find the right books to take home. There were books for all ages and interests from which to choose.

The participation of Adele Taylor, 14 year old founder of Adele’s Literacy Library, was the special feature of our first Hackensack BookFest! She read several books to groups of delighted children. For more information on Adele’s program, visit her web site http://www.adelesliteracylibrary.org. The children were also delighted with the refreshments provided by a group of Fairleigh Dickinson University students before and during the event. Thanks to the group and to their organizer, Sharon Nicholson!

“This BookFest! went so smoothly,” commented Read To Know board member Norma Levy. “Part of the reason is our experiences in five previous BookFests!; but a large part of it was due to the encouragement and cooperation of Assistant Director Barb Schuit and the library staff” she added.

BookFest! Moves Outdoors Summer 2009

Under big shade trees and a cloudless sky, Read To Know held its first outdoor BookFest! in MacKay Park, Englewood on Saturday, July 11. Volunteers helped 112 children and adults select over 500 books to take home. “MacKay Park in Englewood was an excellent site.”, stated Lolly Burgin, Director, “Many families in the community who were enjoying the park stopped in to talk about books and reading with us.” Fourteen volunteers, adults and teenagers, helped the children find books to take home.

Each BookFest! has had special moments and this one was no exception! A mother stopped her car and ran in to get some books for her children to read on their car trip. A young boy came over to the adult section seeking a birthday present for his mother. The toddler who came by BookFest, picked up a board book and clutched it the entire time he was there.

Paterson BookFest! Spring 2009

On Saturday, April 4, Read To Know held its third BookFest! at the Paterson Free Public Library.

“Every year this event gets bigger” remarked one of the volunteers, surveying the room full of children and adults browsing through and choosing books to take home. Twenty eight volunteers were on hand to give help and advice. Our regular teen volunteers were joined by a group of 8th graders from the Norman S. Weir School. The young people supervised the children’s craft activities which included making bookmarks.

Special guests included Gabriela Billini, Miss Teenage Latina of the United States. Gabriela read to small groups of children and was a great addition to the event. We were honored by her presence. Dr. Joseph Atallo of the Paterson Board of Education stopped in to lend his support. In addition, several teachers from day care centers and the public schools attended.

New this year were educational materials for children and adults. The parents’ corner had pamphlets with tips on reading to young children and encouraging the youngsters to read themselves. A particular favorite was a Thomas the Tank Engine math book.

When they were ready to leave, each child received a brightly colored mini book bag with two small books and a pencil. “All in all it was a good day” commented Lolly Burgin, Director, “Our volunteers did a fine job. We could not have run a successful event without the help and cooperation of the library staff headed by assistant director, Mary Wilson. We can’t wait for next year”.

Notable moments included one intrepid four-year-old, who stocked up on three bags of about 30 books to take home. His aunt and uncle were most astonished! Although he mainly spoke Spanish, he also took home a special book – a small picture book about a truck printed in Hebrew – which he promised he would learn to read by the time he was an adult.

Our hearts were also touched by one young teenager who reads to her special needs sibling and picked out books specifically for this purpose.

Englewood BookFest! Fall 2008

Read To Know joined forces with the West Side Teen Parent/Infant program and the Junior League of Bergen County to stage its first BookFest! in Englewood on Saturday, October 4. Volunteers from all three organizations helped children choose just the right books to take home. Several volunteers also read stories to small groups of children. A popular added attraction was “2 Lips – the Clown”, provided by Bergen County United Way, who delighted young children with her face-painting skills. More than 80 children and some of the adults who accompanied them, are now proud owners of books of their own.

Paterson BookFest! Spring 2008

The Paterson BookFest! was an amazing success! We distributed 1,400 books to about 225 children and adults and were out of books by a little after one o’clock. Last year, there were 75 children with an additional 50 adults.

Read To Know volunteers did a fabulous job and had very special help from a Mount Carmel (Ridgewood) confirmations class. The girls made posters and signs, and helped the children make bookmarks. Their leader, Diama Fischer, organized the effort which went off without a hitch. The library staff, especially assistant director Mary Wilson, was welcoming and supportive through setup Friday and the event on Saturday. Once again Starbuck’s provided refreshments and Barnes and Noble supplied book bags.

In addition to children’s books, we were able to include adult books thanks to the generosity of the friends of the Glen Rock library. We also held periodic drawings for some special books mostly donated by the Wells Mountain Foundation in Vermont.

For much of the morning, the room was too crowded to hold story time, but we read to small groups and eventually had a larger group when the crowd thinned slightly.

We did have one regret. Several kids arrived as we were cleaning up and found no books left. One boy, especially, took home leftover adult books, remarking, “I don’t care, they’re books, aren’t they?” We will provide some books for the disappointed children whose names we learned.

Paterson BookFest! 2007

In 2007, Read To Know celebrated a new first. The Paterson Free Public Library was the scene for a BookFest! on Saturday July 21st. Children could choose from 1,200 books to keep. With helpful advice from our volunteers, they eagerly filled their bags with books of interest to bring home. The children attending this event also listened to stories and participated in craft activities.

In addition to the many family groups present that afternoon, there were reporters from the Paterson Herald News and two members of the Paterson Board of Education. The Herald News printed two separate stories.

Our special thanks to the library staff, Starbucks and Barnes and Noble. The library staff made all of us feel welcome and contributed immensely to the success of the event. Starbuck’s provided refreshments through the Ridgewood store and Barnes and Noble donated bags to carry the books home.