Native American Heritage Month is celebrated in November. At our monthly guest reading session at Nurtury Learning Lab in Jamaica Plain, we shared Tomie dePaola’s book “The Legend of the BlueBonnet”. After reading about this old tale of Texas, the students shared how hard it would be to give up their favorite toy.

Project Family Independence in Roxbury is a women’s shelter that promotes the self-sufficiency and well-being of at-risk children, and families by providing innovative, culturally competent and integrated social services to help mothers reach their fullest potential. Our November workshop highlighted ways to use boardbooks with infants. The mothers made autumn themed picture frames to display photos of their children.

National S.T.E.M/S.T.E.A.M. Day is on November 8th. We visited the scholars of the Holmes Elementary in Dorchester to celebrate. “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, is the true story of a boy from Malawi who builds a windmill for the people of his village. After the story, the students created their own LED bookmarks.

On November 22nd, the Haynes Early Education Center hosted its annual “Special Man in My Life” event. This event highlights the men who are important to the students at the Haynes. ReadBoston provided a book for all of the Dads, Grandfathers, Uncles, Big Brothers, and family members to share with their young readers.

To expand our efforts to end book deserts we started a new program called “Loads of Books”. We placed a small basket of children’s books in Laundry Land on Dorchester Ave in Dorchester for families to share while doing their laundry. The management of Laundry Land reports that families really love having access to books. One family even added some of their own books to the “load”.

On December 2nd, the Chittick Elementary School paid a visit to the Boston Celtics practice facility at the Auerbach Center in Brighton. Students met Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell and NBC Sports Pre/Postgame Live Host Kyle Draper. Our special guest readers shared the story, “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts. Having cool shoes is a theme that kids can relate to, and this picture book highlights the differences between wants and needs. Draper pointed out how he too always wanted cool shoes growing up, but he learned that he did not need them. After the story was read, the students and the Celtics VIPs participated in designing and creating their own custom foam sneakers. For a bonus, Celtics star Gordon Hayward said a quick hello to the students!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

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