We register new schools and programs at First Book every day; the more programs we can reach, the more good we can do, the more efficient our efforts become and the more easily we can provide high-quality new books.
Last week, a program called The Aunt Rudy Fund registered with First Book. They serve children at The Neighborhood School and Cornerstone Preparatory School, both located in Memphis, Tennessee, and every book they give away includes a bookplate telling the story of Aunt Rudy, in whose memory the fund was started.
Candy Canzoneri shared the story with us, and we thought it was so charming that we wanted to share it with you:
Every Kid Needs an Aunt Rudy
When I was growing up, my favorite day of the week was Saturday. It was the day my Aunt Rudy rode the bus to downtown Memphis to pay her bills or do whatever shopping she needed. When I got old enough, Aunt Rudy took me along with her.
We’d catch the bus on Southern Avenue, near Buntyn Station. When we went down the Parkways, Aunt Rudy told me stories about riding horses on the bridal paths that used to run along the grassy dividers.
It was a wonderful adventure. We’d do her shopping, have lunch, and then came the best part. Our day always ended in the Book Department at Goldsmith’s. I was allowed to pick out any book I wanted and take it home. This wasn’t just a library book I’d have to read and return, this was a book of my own. Forever.
I still have those books, acquired one by one, week by week: the Black Stallion series, a whole set of Nancy Drew and countless others. I’m all grown up now, but I often read the books my Aunt Rudy gave me many years ago. She gave me the best gift: books. And through books, a love of reading and learning.
When Aunt Rudy died, I thought how lucky I’d been to have her as one of my aunts. And then I thought how unlucky other kids were not to have an Aunt Rudy. Every kid needs and Aunt Rudy. And so, in her memory, here is a book for you. Forever.
Did you ever have an Aunt Rudy in your life? If so, leave a comment below and tell us all about it. Or consider supporting First Book in our efforts to help programs like The Aunt Rudy Fund.