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‘Great Children’s Read’ Includes Special Milestone Celebration, Sunday in West Hartford

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The 9th Annual Great Children’s Read will celebrate PJ Library of Greater Hartford’s 100,000th book, and as part of the event local personalities will read children’s classics.

Submitted by Michelle Bonner, Mandell JCC

Book-loving families are invited to celebrate an incredible milestone at the 9th Annual Great Children’s Read. As part of the Great Children’s Read, the delivery of PJ Library of Greater Hartford’s 100,000th book will be recognized on Nov. 11, 2018 at the Mandell JCC.

PJ Library, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, is an award-winning international literacy program for children with a Jewish connection ages 6 months to 8 years old, delivers a free age-appropriate Jewish-themed book every month to each child registered.

As the organization readies for the delivery of its 100,000th book to a child in the Greater Hartford area, the Great Children’s Read will have a special celebration during a day filled with family fun. The books are a gift from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and funded locally by the Jewish Community Foundation advised by the Zachs Family Fund and the Lions of Judah through the Women’s Philanthropy Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford.

The Great Children’s Read, which is free and open to the community, will kick off the morning with children’s classics and PJ Library books being ready by local personalities, including NBC Connecticut’s Bob Maxon, representatives from the Hartford Yard Goats, and NPR’s Chion Wolf.

“We are incredibly honored to have some of our local personalities join us for a morning that has become so popular,” says Jane Pasternak, Family Room Parenting Center Director. “Each year, the Great Children’s Read becomes a ‘standing room only’ event for the adults whose kids just pile in to enjoy the classics being read to them. This year is even more special, as we celebrate the 100,000th PJ Library book being delivered.”

“Through PJ Library, we have been introduced to beautiful books that remind us to celebrate family, the changing seasons, traditions, and time together reading,” says PJ Library family member Jenny Kowitt. “We love how PJ Library books bring Jewish values and stories into our home. Each member of our family enjoys and learns from the books in different ways.”

The Great Children’s Read has a full line-up of events. All events are free and open to the community.

9:30-10:30 a.m.

The Great Children’s Read – Bring your children for this morning of fun for book loving families! Children’s classics and PJ Library books will be read aloud by local personalities including:

  • NBC Connecticut’s Bob Maxon
  •  Children’s Librarian Linda Gabianelli
  • Hartford Yardgoats
  • Diane Greenfield, Lion of Judah, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
  • NPR’s Chion Wolf
  • Sensei Dave LaPorte
  • PJ Library Author Amy Meltzer

10:45-11:45 a.m.

Family Concert with Josh & the Jamtones – Josh, Pat and their intrepid band of Jamtones have crisscrossed the country, playing hundreds of shows and sharing the stage with massive bands like The Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba, and The Fresh Beat Band.

11:45 a.m.

Celebrate with PJ Library – In November, the 100,000th PJ Library book will be mailed out in the Greater Hartford area. Enjoy a special treat to celebrate this milestone in our community.

With the event taking place during Veteran’s Day Weekend, the Mandell JCC will be collecting donations for local veterans, and ask for people to consider donating toiletries. The items most in need are:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Body Lotion
  • Shampoo

“Our children love when they see a new PJ book in the mailbox and cannot wait to open it up and read it,” says Rachel Schilberg. “The books have opened the door to engaging discussions about the books content leading to an increased knowledge and vocabulary surrounding various Jewish ideas for our children and family.  We view our PJ library as Jewish learning tools, at the same time as a collection of keepsake books.”

All the events on Nov. 11 are free and open to the community. For more information on the Great Children’s Read please contact Jane Pasternak, 860-231-6342.

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