Brain Power! The Blackstone Library at Family Wellness Night

The Blackstone Library was thrilled to be a part of this year’s Family Wellness Night at the Blackstone Innovation School!  The Blackstone Library is a project that is coordinated by St. Stephen’s Youth Programs, which provides paid staff, trains volunteers, and leverages resources to help the library be a top-notch place for literacy growth. During Wellness Night, Blackstone families took part in yoga classes taught by Blackstone teachers, played basketball with the gym coaches, grabbed a healthy burrito dinner, ate some fresh food from Whole Foods, and entered a raffle for the chance to ride home a bike!  

Best of all, thanks to the Blackstone Library, each student took home a book of their own!  In partnership with Trinity Church, Newton Centre, we selected a book for each grade level and a purchased a copy from Porter Square Books for each student in the school.  The book titles were selected by Tricia Harvey, SSYP’s Blackstone Library Coordinator, and Daryl Mark, a key Blackstone Library Volunteer who is the retired Coordinator of the Cambridge Public Library’s Youth Services.  Daryl spearheaded the book giveaway project by writing a grant proposal to her church, Trinity Episcopal in Newton Centre.  When children saw the signs outside the library saying “Take Home a Free Book,” their jaws dropped open.  They happily pointed out their names on their class list to receive their book.  Many Blackstone students were excited to see their library volunteer outside of the regular school day hours and to introduce their parent to their library teacher.  The books that were not given away during Wellness Night were given to teachers to distribute in their classrooms.  Teachers and students alike were excited to receive their own books!  On arrival at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs B-READY Afterschool Program, Blackstone students were proud to share their new books with SSYP staff members during literacy and homework time.

To volunteer or learn more about the Blackstone Library, contact Tricia at  You can also support the library by donating a book from our Wish List, found online at Porter Square Books:

Be sure to mention in the Order Comments section that you are ordering for Blackstone Library to receive a 10% discount!  No need to worry about shipping: Once you've selected your book(s), choose "In-store Pick-up" as the delivery option and we'll take it from there.

By Maureen Burns, Senior Manager of School and Community Partnerships

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