By Maureen Burns, SSYP’s South End School and Community Organizer
On Friday March 4th, forty volunteers gathered in the Library at the Blackstone Innovation School in celebration of the Sixth Annual Read Across America Day sponsored by St. Stephen’s Youth Programs. The library was decorated with a Dr. Seuss theme for the occasion; even Clifford The Dog sported a Cat in the Hat chapeau! The event began with welcoming addresses from members of the Blackstone Executive Leadership Team and a City Year Corp Member, followed by a reflection from Bishop Alan Gates of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and Tricia Harvey, SSYP’s Library Coordinator.
After the celebration in the library, volunteers launched into an afternoon of read alouds. Students were very excited to host volunteer readers in their classrooms. A volunteer in the kindergarten class commented: “We loved the book we read in our small group. I was impressed! The Eiffel Tower was in the background on one page and before I could tell them what it was, they told me it was the Eiffel Tower and they knew all about it!”
The volunteers included Blackstone School parents, South End community members, members of faith- based organizations, and City Year sponsors. All of the volunteers shared their love of literacy with the young scholars of the Blackstone!