Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thank you to everyone who helped make the Jane Averill Community Reading Day a success!

We are so grateful to everyone who helped make the 2017 Jane Averill Community Reading Day a big success! 

On Friday, October 6 we had about 80 volunteer readers at nine public elementary schools reading to small groups of PreK or Kindergarten students and each child who was read to received a copy of the bookWe All Sing with the Same Voice.  We were also able to provide each teacher team with a hardback copy of the book and a cd of the song.  You can see some pictures from the event in the Hyde Park Herald here.

We are grateful for the support of 57th Street Books, who collected all the donations and ordered the books at a discount for us, and to the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (HPKCC) and the University of Chicago's Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP), who each donated $500, in addition to numerous contributions from individuals in the community. Together we were able to raise over $2700, which allowed us to purchase over 500 books.

We had at least two readers per classroom, and some classrooms ended up with 1-on-1 reader-to-child!  We saw the children's faces light up after reading with a volunteer and then again once they received their very own book to bring home. We had such a variety of readers: a 4th grader who had had Ms. Jane as a pre-k teacher, an 8th grader who was off school and came along to help, a community member whose mother had taught at one of our schools for 30+ years, police officers from the university, a children's librarian who lived next door to one of our schools, just to highlight a few.  Some classrooms broke into a dance party once the cd started playing and another classroom said their "Friday Song" went right along with our theme, offering to teach us the song, "The World is a Rainbow."  

The goal of this event was to build support for our community schools and many of the volunteers involved have said that they want to continue their partnership with the schools. This is great news! Please reach out to the HPKCAC if you have any trouble connecting with a school. Here is the contact information for each school:

Ariel Community Academy, 1119 E. 46th Street, Principal: Ms. Coleman 773 535-1931
Bret Harte Elementary School, 1556 E. 56th Street, Principal: Mr. Bright, 773 535-0870
Carnegie Elementary School, 1414 E. 61st Place, Principal: Ms. Pollard, 773 535-0530
Kozminski Community Academy, 936 E. 54th Street, Principal: Ms. Glover, 773 535-0980
Murray Language Academy, 5335 S. Kenwood Avenue, Principal: Mr. Mason, 773 535-0585
Ray Elementary School, 5631 S. Kimbark Avenue, Principal: Ms. Thole, 773 535-0970
Reavis Elementary School, 834 E. 50th Street, Principal: Ms. King, 773 535-1060
Robinson Elementary School, 4225 S. Lake Park Avenue, Principal: Ms. Hobbs, 773 535-1777
Shoesmith Elementary School, 1330 E. 50th Street, Principal: Ms. Gates, 773 535-1765

Possible ways you might consider continuing to support our public schools: cash or in-kind donations; offering resources, such as school supplies (including reams of copy paper & printer cartridges) or uniforms; offer to work with the school to provide job shadows and participate in career days; help with an afterschool activity or find another way to mentor a student; volunteer in a classroom or to provide lunch/recess support; serve on the school’s LSC as a Community Representative.

We hope to have even more participation next year for the 2018 Jane Averill Community Reading Day!