HIGHBRIDGE, Bronx – Students at a Bronx elementary school returned home on Monday with full bellies and heavier bags of books, all thanks to a donation.
Officials at PS 11 school in Highbridge said up to a third of the student body lives in shelters or temporary accommodation. With a free lunch and new books, awareness is raised on the need for reading materials in low-income communities.
By singing, dancing and reading aloud, students are celebrated for successful virtual learning and being back in the classroom, said librarian Roseanna Gulisano.
âWhen they got back to school, we noticed that they were addicted to their technology, but they weren’t reading,â Gulisano said.
Trustees turned to a children’s author and nonprofit organization to help motivate kids to turn those pages.
David Kanarfogel is the co-founder of Hindi’s Libraries, the organization that donated the books.
âWe kind of take it for grantedâ¦ spending money on books,â Kanarfogel said. “Sometimes it’s not always that easy for all kids to have access to.”
Kanarfogel created the organization in honor of his late wife, Hindi.
Hindi was an English teacher who loved writing, reading, and literacy. The association continues its legacy in the education of children.
Children’s author Lisa Caprelli brought her Unicorn Jazz book series.
âI was once one of the kids at a school like this,â Caprelli said. “I used to be someone who felt like she was out of place, and today we like to pay it forward.”
Young Broadway stars Jolie Rose Wasserman and Emily Isabel put on a show for the students.
The school offers free lunch every day, but Gulisano said Monday’s meal was an added treat and addressed another issue the students were facing.
âFood insecurity is like never before, so we want to make sure they get food and books,â Gulisano said.