Reach Out and Read

Wonderland BookSavers Brings 1,000 Books to Boston

Written by Madeline

Last December, we traveled to Boston, bringing with us 2,000 books which we donated to the Reach Out and Read program at Tufts Floating Hospital for Children.

Pictures from our December donation in Boston

Every time a child visits the hospital, they are able to choose a book to keep and bring home with them.

On August ninth, we trekked back up to Boston with another 1,000 books to replenish the bookshelves at the hospital. When we arrived, we were greeted by community partners Zoe Barry, the founder and CEO of ZappRx; Reach Out and Read coordinator Marika Michelangelo; Anne Carroll from Tufts Floating hospital; and hospital and Reach Out and Read interns.

We unloaded boxes of books from our cars, placed the boxes on dollies, and carted the dollies through the hospital and into the elevators.

When the metal elevator doors opened, we guided the dollies through the hallway, and unloaded some of the boxes into the closet where extra books are kept for the hospital to refill their shelves with. Next, we brought our books over to the same bookshelves we filled last December. Almost all of the 2,000 books we had brought 9 months ago had been selected and taken home by children.

We opened our boxes of books which had already been sorted into three levels: pre-school through third grade, fourth to sixth grade, and middle/high school. We then stocked the books on the shelves in those respective categories and order.

The hospital and Reach Out and Read personnel briefly interviewed and questioned us about our project, and after our discussing our charity, we thanked everyone and departed.

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After leaving the hospital, we went to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, which is the second presidential library we have visited as a team. We explored the museum and archives.boston9

Our excursion to John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Library concluded our trip to Boston, but we will look forward to bringing more books to Boston in the near future.

Wonderland BookSavers’ Haitian-Creole Books Arrived in Haiti on May 17

By Madeline

Early last fall, we met with our community partner Susy Whitcomb, President of Haitian Educational Initiatives. Susy brought us pictures and videos of the kids at their school with our books. We had previously donated many French books to Haiti, but upon meeting with Susy, we discovered that the children in Haiti speak Haitian-Creole–not French–as their first language.

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A Haitian child with one of our donated French books

The French books were helpful, but before the Haitian children could learn to read, they would have to learn French, a foreign language. Team Wonderland BookSavers decided that we wanted to get the Haitian children Haitian-Creole books so they could finally have books written in their native language.

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Haitian-Creole books

After collaborating with our community partner Zoe Barry, the founder and CEO of ZappRx, we were able to obtain funds to purchase $1,099 worth of Haitian-Creole books. Since Zoe was so generous in giving us the funds to purchase the Haitian-Creole books, we along with the ZappRx team donated 2,000 books to the Reach Out and Read program at Tufts Floating Hospital for Children in Boston.

Throughout this project, we have united American children with Haitian children through our “poster pals” program. Poster pals are essentially pen pals, except we exchange and create banners with notes and drawings instead of just letters.

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Kids work on one of the poster pals we sent to Haiti

Wonderland BookSavers held a community event at the Barnum School where we helped the kids decorate a Sneetch machine after we read “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss. At that event, we read a Haitian-Creole book to the children at Barnum School, and let the kids create banners for the children in Haiti.

Soon, the children at Barnum School will get a poster pals banner from the children in Haiti. Our Haitian-Creole books and poster pals were scheduled to arrive in Haiti in February, but due to a political coup and violence in Haiti, our books and poster pals were delayed in being delivered until May. On May 17, the children in Haiti received the first books they have ever seen written in their native language, and posters and drawings from us and American children.

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children in Haiti holding our donated books

We are incredibly grateful to Susy Whitcomb and Zoe Barry for their assistance in this project. We are excited to see the children with their new books, and we are eagerly anticipating the poster pals which the Haitian children are sending back to America.

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.

Wonderland BookSavers’ Partner and Sponsor, Zoe Barry

By Madeline

Zoe Barry, the founder and CEO of ZappRx, is a partner and sponsor of Wonderland BookSavers.

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She, along with ZappRx, has assisted us in several of our projects and endeavors. Recently, Zoe won the award ONEin3. She donated the money she won with her award to Wonderland BookSavers so we could purchase Haitian-Creole books for the schools and kids we work with in Haiti.

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Haitian-Creole books

After winning the award, Zoe helped us arrange a visit to Tufts Medical Center’s Floating Hospital for Children in downtown Boston. The hospital uses a program called Reach Out and Read to check children’s literacy and give children a book every time they go to the hospital.

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A Reach Out and Read poster at the hospital

The hospital was running low on books, and since ZappRx is involved in the medical business, Zoe helped to organize a book donation for the hospital. Team WBS boxed 2,000 books, managed to squeeze the team, the books, and a handcart in the car, and embarked on the trip from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts.

Upon arrival, we met with Zoe’s team and began to transport the books from our car and into the hospital.

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We pushed and carried our loads of books into the hospital, received a tour, and then proceeded to stock the shelves with our books.

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We were able to fill the shelves and left a surplus of books for the hospital to restock.

Apart from participating in Wonderland BookSavers’ projects, Zoe enjoys doing community service work, especially in regards to helping animals. In the past, she has worked in Alaska saving eagles. Recently, Zoe fostered and formally adopted a bunny from the MSPCA.

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Zoe Barry, Founder and CEO of ZappRx

Zoe understands the importance of literature and the power it wields. With regards to our donation to the hospital, Zoe said “…their bookshelves were so empty.. and just to know that children who are so scared in a hospital setting…are able to read a book and have comfort in a story, its really great.”

With regards to her success in the business world and winning ONEin3, Zoe stated: “Literature can help you run a business. I told a story. I painted a picture with words about how and why I founded ZappRx, what the mission was, how painful it is to not have access to a medication, what happens to a patient when they can’t have access to a medication, and how this inspired me to found ZappRx. And when you have a core mission and you can articulate it well, you can spread that passion centric to founder and spread it to other team members and really motivate people to overcome all odds and put a product to the market and be successful.”

Thank you to Zoe and ZappRx for all of their help! We hope that you continue to make the world a better place whether it is alongside Wonderland BookSavers or with endeavors of your own.