School’s out, and that means we see more young faces in the Catholic Charities lobby. During the summer months, many clients bring their young children along when they come in to use the Clothing Closet or Food Pantry – or to meet with a case manager in our Housing Ministry.
We are so excited about our outreach to these children through a new project – the Summer Reading Room – which will be stocked primarily with donated children’s books and staffed by volunteers.
Open in June and July, the Summer Reading Room offers a variety of children’s literature in a welcoming environment that includes volunteers who will read to or with the children and work on sight words with them. Best of all, each child takes home a free book on every visit.
The reading room will be open 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday through Thursday, during June and July. Thanks to a generous grant from the Hohenberg Foundation, we have purchased some bilingual books for the children of our Hispanic clients, as well as some child-sized seating for the reading room.
We would also like to thank the librarians at the following schools for their great generosity in donating their available books to us: St. Louis Catholic School, Holy Rosary Catholic School, St. Ann Catholic School and Our Lady of Sorrows (now Compass Community-Frayser).
We have a wonderful assortment of classic children’s books such as Green Eggs and Ham, Little Women and David Goes to School. Bilingual options include Caperucita Roja (Little Red Riding Hood) and Juan y los Frijoles Magicos (Jack and the Beanstalk).
We still welcome reading room volunteers, all of whom must be VIRTUS-trained. The VIRTUS programs empower organizations and people to better control risk and improve the lives of all those who interact with the Church. Protecting God's Children® is the prevention program that addresses preventing child sexual abuse. Catholic Charities will offer a VIRTUS training at 10 a.m. June 12 at our offices at 1325 Jefferson Ave. to interested volunteers who have not had the opportunity to receive this training.
Potential volunteers may contact volunteer coordinator Mandy Lamey at 901-722-4758 or mandy.lamey [at] acc.cdom [dot] org.