Children’s Home of Easton & Judith’s Reading Room Featured

A film documentary produced by local nonprofit Judith’s Reading Room, that highlights the importance of literacy as a significant protective factor for at-risk youth, has been picked as a festival feature.  The film was screened on Sunday, October 18th at the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

At risk youth at both The Children’s Home of Easton and Harkins House near Portland, Oregon reveal, in often heartbreaking moments during the 20 minute documentary, the reality of children who come from families dealing with overwhelming issues such as loss of jobs, unsafe neighborhoods or family trauma.  “When children who don’t think they can succeed, change their minds because they see a different future thanks to having freedom through literature, the impact on society spreads,” said Gregg Dowty of Children’s Home of Easton.

“Establishing libraries filled with the right books for both advanced and struggling teenager readers and organizing book clubs at both institutions formed the core idea  of the literacy initiative,” said Cathy Leiber, President of Judith’s Reading Room.  She added that since 2012, the organization has donated a total of 2,526 books valued at $28,328 to these residential centers.

The film was directed by Lafayette College graduate, Joel Vargas, who is currently in London completing his Fulbright scholarship in film documentary studies.  Grants from Martin Guitar Foundation, Keystone Savings Foundation, the Dornsife Family, the Devitre Family, and friends of James Durnin, Sr. made the film possible.

Judith’s Reading Room, a non-profit literacy organization founded in 2010 with the mission, “Freedom Through Literacy,” has dedicated 93 libraries in 16 countries worldwide with 125,077 books donated worth $1.3 million dollars.