Books change children's

lives...for good!

Food pantries can feed children's bodies & minds!

The Book Fairy by Becky Hughes and Her First Graders

"The first inspirational story I want to share is the story of two 'book fairy helpers' in Meeker, Colorado. Bookstore owner, Avis Loshbaugh, became a book fairy helper when she began presenting and reading a beautifully wrapped book each month to the first grade class of teacher, Becky Hughes. Becky became a book fairy helper when she and her first grade class wrote and published,  The Book Fairy in 2008 as a thank-you present to Avis. They show us that one person can make a big difference and more than one can make an even bigger difference. Thank you, Becky and students, and Avis. You inspire us, and we honor you."

Copyright Pam Leo, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

"No matter what our attempts to inform, it is our ability to inspire that will

turn the tides."
—Jan Phillips, Syracuse Cultural Workers


​Please Read To Me

A child’s plea for love and literacy
BY PAM LEO

Read to me, please read to me
Right from the very start.
Just as good food grows my body,
Good stories grow my brain and heart.

Read stories to me in my bed,
And in the rocking chair,
In the garden, in the bathroom,
Please read to me everywhere.

Please read me a wake up story,
A breakfast story, a story with my snack,
Another story with my lunch,
And two before my nap.

Please give me picture books to look at
When we’re driving in the car,
And audiobooks to listen to
As we travel near and far.

Please take me to the library.
They have books to read for free.
We can take home lots of them,
Some for you and some for me.

Read me stories in the kitchen
And stories in the bath.
Please read me this same one again,
It always makes us laugh.

A story is a special treat,
Always a delight.
Reading keeps us connected,
Morning, noon, and night.

Every time you read to me
Our bond grows a little stronger.
Your reading feels like love to me,
And I always want it longer.

Read to me? Please?

Copyright Pam Leo, 2016. All Rights Reserved.


quotes  &  stories:












Words of inspiration


"Every child deserves a chance to reach his or her full potential."
—Roger Thurow, The First 1000 Days

"One child in four in the U.S. growing up not knowing how to read is one child too many."

—Pam Leo, Family Literacy Activist

"Unable to read and write, children are stunted from achieving their full potential."
—Laura Bush & Irina Bokova

"The home is the child’s first school, the parent is the child’s first teacher, and reading is the child’s first subject."

—Barbara Bush

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."

—Emilie Buckwald

"There is magic in books, and the simple act of reading with our children has a profound impact on their educational development."
—Carol H. Rasco, Reading Is Fundamental

"Reading makes all other learning possible. We have to get books into our children's hands early and often."
—Barack Obama

"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child."
—Mary Ellen Chase

"There is no such thing as other people’s children."

—Hillary Clinton

"Now is the time to support reading in our communities and work to get books into the hands of disadvantaged children across the country."
—Carol H. Rasco, Reading Is Fundamental

"Every parent I have ever met has wanted life to be better for their children than it was for them. Let’s make it so with children’s books. The way out of poverty is literacy."

—Pam Leo, Family Literacy Activist



Book Fairy News from Michigan


Hi Pam,
Sorry for the delay, but I know you wanted some info about our project.  Let me know if you need any more information.
 
My high school daughter, Sophie, and I have been volunteering at our local food pantry, Aid in Milan, for a couple of years now and love it.  Since I am an elementary reading specialist and have access to loads of books and some potential donors, we thought it would be great to add a literacy component to the food pantry shopping experience.  Research shows us that students whose families struggle to make ends meet often lack access to books.  They rarely have their own at-home libraries and may have transportation issues that prevent them from visiting the public library.  The director of Aid in Milan though this was a wonderful idea.  We had lots of books to donate, but we needed something portable that could be easily made available during the clients’ monthly food shopping.  Sophie and I also volunteer at the local library and luckily, they had just received a donation of two old chart carts from the local hospital, St. Joseph Mercy.  They gave us one and my husband, Craig, who is an engineer, remodeled it so it now has three shelves – picture books, early/mid chapter books and young adult books.  It has worked out great!  Now every month when families shop, they can also take home a book for each of their children!  Before Christmas, when families came to pick out presents for their children, there was also a book table so they could pick plenty of books for holiday gifts too!  We have been fortunate to receive several generous donations from local families as well as a non-profit called Books for a Benefit and so far, have collected about 900 books.  We added some other fun items like bookmarks and finger flashlights to our cart too!  So far, our Book Fairy Pantry Project has been very well-received.  Families love it and have been so appreciative.  I had the chance to speak to some of them when we had an information table set up at a community event this past fall.
 
Thank you so much for your awesome idea!  We hope that it continues to grow and expand.  Sophie and I have really enjoyed getting our own Book Fairy Pantry Project off the ground and witnessing its immediate positive effects.  Our hope is that within six months to a year, all of our food pantry clients will have built at-home libraries for their children, giving them the lifelong gift of literacy.
 
I included photos too – one of the cart we use, a banner we use at community events, and one of Sophie and I with some of our book donations.
 
Thanks again,
Kerri Moccio

Book Baby

BY PAM LEO

I know a little girl I call book baby,
Because her favorite thing is a book.
If you go to visit her,
There are books wherever you look.

Book baby has ALL kinds of books,
Board books, picture books, and pop-up books too.
If you go to visit her,
She'll show them ALL to you.

As book baby turns the pages,
She is "learning to learn" to read. 
If you go to visit her, she'll ask,
" Read me a story, please?"

Book baby "reads" stories to her cat. 
She "reads" to her parents too.
If you go to visit her,
She'll "read" a book to YOU!

Book baby takes books with her, 
Everywhere she goes.
How many times she has "read" each one. 
Nobody really knows.

Book baby LOVES the library,
It is her FAVORITE place to be.
When you take her to the library,
She never wants to leave.

Book baby is never lonely.
Her books keep her company.
If you can't visit her today,   
She'll just read, and read, and read.

If you give YOUR baby lots of books,
And if you read them EVERY day,
YOUR baby will become  a Book Baby,
And "really" read someday.