The kids at Herricks Middle School in Albertson, New York love to learn. In fact, every morning many of them line up outside of the library before school starts, eager to trade in their latest read for a new story.
For some of the students, the books they receive at school are the only ones they have.
“Our school is very diverse so we service students with varying degrees of need,’” said Jodi Thompson, the school’s librarian. “While the more affluent students may have access to books and support at home, the others face more difficult challenges.”
Many students may only have access to hot meals while at school. Others have parents who work very hard for very long hours or do not speak English, so they cannot help with their school work. Some moved here without their parents and live with relatives just to get an education in America.
But none of these challenges keep Jodi’s students from working hard and doing their best.
Fifty-five of her students from different circumstances come together after school for Book Club. And thanks to a grant from the Guru Krupa Foundation, Jodi was able to obtain the books students most wanted to read together. These included My Most Excellent Year and The Misfits.
“For the past few years, the kids have been asking to do a large group read but we never had enough copies of the same books to do it,” explained Jodi. “They actually cheered when they found out we had enough books to do the whole group read not once, but three times this year.”
“Getting these books for free is invaluable to me and my students,” she says.
The Foundation, based in Jericho, New York, funds initiatives related to education, health and basic sustenance of underprivileged children in India and the United States, and has helped First Book provide more than 75,000 books to children in need in the greater New York, Los Angeles and India in recent years.
“We at Guru Krupa Foundation believe that education is a cornerstone for future success in life,” said Mukund Padmanabhan of the Guru Krupa Foundation. “Supporting initiatives that bring the benefits of education to underprivileged children can lead to enormous future dividends, not only for the children but to society.”