Judith's Reading Room logoJudith’s Reading Room recently donated 1,000 children’s books to St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network to promote literacy amongst at-risk youth in the Lehigh Valley.   500 middle school books were hand-selected for the St. Luke’s Medical Mobile van that serves Broughal, Northeast, Raub and Trexler Middle Schools in Bethlehem and 500 elementary level books were chosen for three St. Luke’s KidsCare locations in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.  After receiving the book donations, Sarah Andrews, Dental Program Supervisor from St. Lukes wrote:

Thank you so much for this donation!
We have been handing out books to our elementary dental patients on our Mobile Dental Van and the kids love it!  They come onto the van and we give them the bin to pick a book from.  They sit and page through the book while they wait to be seen.  At the end of the appointment, we tell them that they can have it and their faces just light up.  It is such an awesome feeling to see them appreciate receiving a book at every visit.
Also, I have observed a few times how this literacy effort brings families closer together.  Our dental van provides services over the summer months and parents are able to bring their children to the appointment.  Often while the parents are waiting with their children to be seen, they sit and read with them.  The interaction is not only teaching the child literary fundamentals but bonding the parent and child at the same time.  After seeing how well this works on our vans, I have initiated having books given to our pediatric patients at our Bethlehem clinic and Easton clinic.
This is such a blessing to our program, our patients and our community.  On behalf of the Dental Program, many thanks!
Sarah Andrews
Dental Program Supervisor

St. Luke’s University Health Network

On August 16, 2011, Judith’s Reading Room donated six mobile library carts stocked with a total of 2,060 children’s and adult books worth $20,927. Subsequent donations to refresh the carts since August 2011, notably to St. Luke’s Miners Campus and to the St. Luke’s Hospice House, brought the total to 2,761 books valued at $30,060.   The donation yesterday brought to a grand total 3,761 books donated by Judith’s Reading Room to St. Luke’s at a value of $38,060.
The significance of the donations is that Judith’s Reading Room, like St. Luke’s, is committed to beating “summer slide,” which is when children completely stop reading during the summer months and “slide” back in grade level.  According to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), children who do not keep up with reading lose approximately two months of the school year.  Summer slide is even more prevalent in low-income households because they do not have access to books.  To help these households, Judith’s Reading Room has teamed up with St. Luke’s Community Health Department once again.
Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization with headquarters in Bethlehem, PA, was founded in 2010 in the memory of Judith F. Krug, who fought for the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, believing that no one has the right to tell other people what they can or cannot read.  Judith’s Reading Room promotes “Freedom through Literacy” by providing custom libraries to organizations that serve people who, for any reason, have limited or no access to literature.

As of this date, Judith’s Reading Room has dedicated 52 libraries in six states including two on board an aircraft carrier and in nine countries with a total donation of 57,364 books valued at $594,468.