A Time-Honored Tradition: Books and Book Cubbies at St. Elizabeth Seton School
Palo Alto University Rotary Club Member Sasha Madison helps Matia pick out the letters of his name.

On May 16, Bring Me a Book, the Palo Alto University Rotary Club, and the St.Elizabeth Seton School staff joined forces to once again deliver our time-honored tradition of bringing book cubbies and books to the school’s youngest students. With funding from the ever-generous Eliane and Armand Neukermans, St. Elizabeth Seton students establish their home libraries as preschoolers and years later, many still have their book cubbies.

Generous funders Eliane and Armand Neukermans admire one family’s book cubbies.

Several months ago, when Bring Me a Book founder Judy Koch and Executive Director Lois Bridges visited the classrooms, Judy asked the students in each classroom to raise their hands if they had a book cubby. It was heartening to see almost every hand shoot up—and, what’s more, nearly every student could identify the title(s) of their favorite books as well. Bring Me a Book, which strives to help all children develop a joyful reading habit, is deeply honored to serve this vibrant school reading community. We hope it’s a tradition that will continue for years to come.

Preschoolers line up with their parents to celebrate their new home libraries!
Our Family Engagement and Book Cubby Workshop: Helping All Children Develop a Robust Reading Habit

The Family Engagement and Book Cubby Workshop, Bring Me a Book’s signature program, draws together families, a public librarian, books that the children choose themselves to take home, and—the centerpiece—a book cubby. The cubby, decorated and personalized with each child’s first name, serves as the child’s home library and provides a safe place to keep the child’s books, both those the child owns as well as books he or she borrows from the public library.

While Bring Me a Book rejoices over every opportunity to provide children with books, since our primary mission is helping all children grow a joyful, sustainable reading habit, helping children establish a relationship with their public library is of paramount importance. Many of the immigrant families with whom we work do not always realize that our public libraries are completely free—and not only provide books but also, a wide array of multimedia resources, as well as rich programming for children. We work hard to help the families we serve understand that, with a library card in hand, their children are assured of having access to the most fabulous literacy resources in their community—the public library!

April 7, Bring Me a Book brought our Family Engagement Cubby Workshop to the Sunnyvale Public Library, as part of our two-year partnership with the library. And April 22, we partnered with the Family Connections Preschool. At both events, librarians provided families with information about obtaining library cards and attending story hours and other library programs for children. They also read aloud to the children—one child-pleasing picture book after another.

Finally, the children chose three books to take home in their book cubbies. We hope the cubbies help establish each child’s identity as a reader—and long serve to provide fingertip access to all the books each child loves best.