In one of the rooms in our new Reading Center we're showcasing inspirational and motivational quotes in a mural. As I read the quotes I realize the words are as much for me as they are for the teens. Maybe you'll agree -- we'd be moving mountains much faster if we all believed these words...
Our Literacy Program's goal is focused on lifelong learning and upon making a positive impact on the growth of our student readers. To this end we're making plans to fill our space with thousands of children pre-K through teenagers.
Feeling connected to the children we serve is so important to all of us. In every box of pajamas and books we send to group homes and shelters we include a sheet called Pajama Program's Kids Blog sheet.
A sad lesson we have learned over our 11 years is that too often, children in foster care have little that they can call their own. We have been working to help change that sad fact, even just a little.
Letters and notes from the children we serve have guided me to five answers, especially where our teens are concerned: Listen. Don't judge. Hear their call for help. Take a step toward, not away, from them. Never forget them.
Sometimes I am sure I see a spark in a child's eye when he's on line with his classmates to put his gifts on the bus that tells me he gets it -- it's about helping someone else, not just once, but in the days and years to come.
I no longer yearn for those pot of gold gifts I wanted when I was younger - a jaguar to drive and a fancy house to live in. I am grateful for my pajamas and books just as much as the little boy in the letter is. And I know giving is the real gift.
I sometimes feel overwhelmed by how much we promise all the children who are waiting for our pajamas and books. Will we receive enough support every year to get through our wait list? Can we deliver on our promise?
I remember as a child loving to visit my friends' houses. Sleeping in someone else's home was a treat. Now I can't help but wonder how many of the children we see at Pajama Program wish for a mundane routine in a home of their own.
As the children came into the room to sit and read with me, I gave each one a pair of pajamas. One little girl wouldn't take pajamas from me. She stood perfectly still, looked up at me, and asked in a whisper, "What are these?"
Laura and her young friend Maurice, shared meals at the start of their relationship, but it wasn't until an impromptu conversation about lunchtime did Laura learn the true meaning of a brown bag lunch.