This winter ReadBoston has continued to provide virtual early literacy programming to the children of Boston. Our Live Storytime continues on weekdays at 6 PM via Instagram and Facebook. Our February and March Storytime Live sessions focused on titles that highlight contributions to Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

Colin’s Joy Project was started after the unexpected passing of the McGrath family’s 2-year-old son, Colin. Colin’s Joy Project made a grant to ReadBoston to support the virtual learning of children in Boston Public Schools.  We donated almost 2,000 new curriculum-related books and activities to students in K1 through Grade 2 at the Condon, Tynan, Perkins, and Perry schools in South Boston and the Dever and Winthrop schools in Dorchester. A huge thank you to Colin’s Joy Project for making this possible!

We have partnered with the Black Employee Network of Amazon (BEN Amazon) and the Holmes School to provide students with monthly virtual read-aloud sessions. Amazon’s Black Employee Network’s (BEN) mission is to recruit, retain, and empower Black employees. BEN connects members with mentors and provides career and personal development workshops. BEN also engages with local and regional chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, leads recruiting initiatives with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and partners with other organizations.  The BEN Amazon volunteers join us once a month for virtual read alouds with the students of the Holmes School. Titles have been chosen by ReadBoston for their emphasis on diverse characters and diverse authors and illustrators. This partnership with the Holmes School will culminate in a donation of African American-inspired titles to the school library.

During February school vacation we invited Boston Public School elementary students to participate in Book Bingo. Over 100 students participated from 7 different Boston Public Schools. All participants earned prizes and one student from each school received five new grade level books.

In Celebration of Black History Month, our Daddy and Me Book Club invited author Ayesha Rodriguez to share her children’s book “I AM… Positive Affirmations For Brown Boys”. All families in attendance received a hardcover copy of “The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up The World’ written by the authors of The Undefeated from ESPN.

In our continued partnership with the Boston Celtics, we had our first virtual Read To Achieve event with members of the Grove Hall community. On March 11th, Celtics staff hosted a virtual read-aloud of “Thank You, Omu!” by Oge Mora. We were joined by Celtics mascot Lucky and Celtics legend Leon Powe who talked about the importance of reading in their lives and careers.

 The goal of ending ”book deserts” continued this winter as we partnered with Storytime Crafts and Dimock Health Center to install a free community library in front of their site. The Dimock Center is located at 55 Dimock Street in Roxbury.  Recognized nationally as a model for the delivery of comprehensive health and human services in an urban community, The Dimock Center provides over 19,000 people annually with convenient access to high-quality, low-cost health care and human services that might not otherwise be available to the communities we serve. Dr.Charles Anderson, President and CEO of Dimock, joined us on March 11th to install the library.

Our newest Loads of Books site is located at Express Laundromat located at 236 Brighton Ave. in Allston. Stop by to see what’s in there! We are always looking for new locations for our Loads of Books libraries. If you know of a laundromat that could use one, please contact us.

Please continue to join us on Instagram weeknights at 6 PM for more great children’s books that inspire the children of Boston to improve their literacy skills!

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