There is no frigate like a book… to take us to Boston

By Madeline

On December 8, Team WBS traveled to the Floating Hospital for Children in Boston at Tufts Medical Center. We drove from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts, bringing with us 2,000 books boxed and categorized by level. Our car was brimming with our books, team members Reid, Brooks Morgan, Emma, Claire, Madeline, our mothers, and a handcart to transport our books.

Upon arriving at the hospital, we were greeted by medical staff, and members of the ZappRx team. We clambered out of the car and began loading boxes of books onto the cart. Together, we pushed and guided the cart into the hospital and into the elevator.

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The steel doors of the elevator opened, and we pushed and carried our books out. Hospital employees welcomed us, and gave us a tour of the hospital. We were informed about the program Reach Out and Read, which the Floating Hospital for Children endorses. Reach Out and Read is a literacy program where whenever children come to the hospital, doctors check their literacy, and each child is allowed to choose a book and bring it home.

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Meeting hospital staff

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A poster for Reach Out and Read

Once familiar with the hospital and its program, we began to unload our books and stock the empty shelves. We organized books by age groups: infant to five years old, kindergarten to third grade, fourth to eighth grade, and high school.

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An organized cabinet of middle and high school books that we donated

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A little girl chooses a book

We filled all the shelves with our books, and left a surplus for the hospital to restock with.

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Left to right: Claire, Madeline, Reid, Emma, and Brooks Morgan. Posing with some of the books we donated

After departing from the hospital, we headed towards Wellesley, ate lunch, and then proceeded to The Rare Books Collection at Wellesley College where we examined many antiquated, priceless, texts. Some of the texts we saw include a first edition of Martin Luther’s Bible, the first mobile-print Book of Amos, a first edition of Newton’s Principio, a first edition of Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, and a medieval manuscript containing religious songs and illustrations.

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Sidereus Nuncius

We were able to touch, hold, and examine the books, and the librarians proffered a plethora of information about the content, history, and acquisition of each text.

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Book of Amos

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Looking at Sidereus Nuncius

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Newton’s Principio

Our excursion to Wellesley marked the end of our trip. We headed home with our car devoid of the books it had carried to Boston, and our minds filled with the knowledge and experiences we had acquired throughout the day.

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