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Summer Reading Makes a
Difference with EBNHC and ReadBoston’s Storymobile
(September 12, 2012, East Boston,
MA)—School has started again, and this year a number of East Boston
children have the advantage of a little extra preparation, thanks to
ReadBoston's Storymobile, which rolled into Airport Stadium Park
this summer for the second year in a row.
Storymobile is a summer program coordinated by ReadBoston, a
literacy initiative launched by Mayor Thomas Menino to encourage
kids to continue reading during the summer months. Children who
attend the Storymobile program hear a story told by a professional
storyteller and receive a new book to take home. ReadBoston's
mission is to ensure that every child in Boston can read at grade
level by the end of third grade.
This goal is near and dear to the heart of Michelle Bettano, a
former teacher who brings her love of learning to all of her work in
Volunteer Services at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC)
and was responsible for organizing the Airport Stadium Park
She sees her desire to foster
literacy in children as a natural extension of all that EBNHC does.
She says, "Any opportunity a child has to be exposed to a book gives
him ties to learning and understanding the world around him, and
fosters a healthy mind."
When Bettano heard about the summer Storymobile program, she knew
she wanted EBNHC to be a part of it. She signed up to be a
coordinator, found space at Airport Stadium Park, and agreed to
supervise the program at that location. Every Wednesday morning for
the six weeks of the program, Bettano headed for the park with boxes
of books to hand out to kids.
Each week, more than 70 children
from the community and area schools attended the Storymobile
program. They listened to engaging stories told by storytellers who
encouraged audience participation.
At the end of each session, Bettano invited the children to choose a
book from her supply, books ranging from board books for the
littlest kids to other age-appropriate selections for the older kids
up to age 8. Many children participated every week and received a
total of six books to add to their home libraries.
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
10 Gove Street
East Boston, MA 02128