Tag Archives: Reading Reflections

Local Kids Get Back-To-School with Thousands of Donated Books

As the famous children’s author Dr. Seuss once said, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby intoned that message on “National Read a Book Day” as they donated a heaping helping of magic to Pat-Kam School & Early Childhood Center in Uniondale. Teaming up with the non-profit organization Reading Reflections, the pair of officials will convey over 2,000 new and unused books to the local school. They were joined by Ronald and Geraldine Clahar of Pat-Kam School & Early Childhood Center, as well as Reading Reflections President Eden Schneck and volunteer Alexandra Zarka.


“Books are the essential tools for success,” said Clavin. “Reading opens up a whole new world, whether it’s a fictional fantasy story or a non-fictional piece about the 1800s, you begin a new adventure every time you open a book. I’m proud that Reading Reflections has made possible the donation of over 2,000 new adventures to the voracious readers of Pat-Kam School & Early Childhood Center.”


Clavin and Goosby noted that the timing of this donation could not have been more perfect as families are in the swing of “back to school” week. With more than two thousand books in tow, Reading Reflections and the officials are equipping students with the vital keys to success. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children who read at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who do not. However, children from low-income households have less age-appropriate books readily available, thereby limiting the language and literacy opportunities presented to them.


“I find that it is of crucial importance to keep our children reading,” said Goosby. “By providing a local school and early childhood center with over two thousand new books, we’re empowering students with the knowledge they need to succeed.”


The non-profit organization Reading Reflections promotes literacy through the donation of more than 50,000 books annually to local and international youth. The local organization was founded in memory of founder Eden Schneck’s grandparents who instilled the importance of education and a passion for reading in her. The organization came to full fruition as they created a library for Al-Madinah Islamic Academy after sustaining the devastating loss of their close friend, a young police detective who was originally spearheading the campaign. Since then, the organization has flourished with assistance from the community; helping reopen the Island Park Library as it recovered from Superstorm Sandy and delivering a veritable truckload of books to the non-profit organization Gateway Youth Outreach.


“We’re proud to join with Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby to help promote literacy and foster knowledge,” said Reading Reflections President Eden Schneck. “We love the eager students at Pat-Kam School & Early Childhood Center and are confident that our donation of books will help nurture a love of reading in them.”


Pat-Kam School & Early Childhood Center has been providing safe and affordable childcare facilities to hardworking families of Baldwin, Uniondale, Hempstead and Freeport for over 20 years. Originally opening their doors to children from ages 3-5, the school expanded their services to provide quality education to elementary students up to the fifth grade. Currently, the school provides a nurturing environment to 132 students in the preschool program and 100 students in the elementary school.


“Two thousand books is just the beginning,” concluded Clavin. “The lessons that these children will learn and the adventures they will be a part of will stick with them for years to come. What’s more, when the eager bookworms of Pat-Kam School & Early Childhood Center crave more adventures, their local libraries will always welcome them with open arms.”


Visit Receiver Clavin’s webpage

Hempstead Town Partners with Volunteers to Donate Books to Sandy-Devastated Island Park Library

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Senior Councilman Anthony Santino worked with the organization Reading Reflections to deliver books to the Island Park Library, which was devastated in Superstorm Sandy.


Hempstead Town has worked with Reading Reflections in past years, helping the organization find appropriate donation sites and delivering books to those locations. This year when the organization contacted the Town it seemed only appropriate that the new and gently used books be given to the Island Park Library, which has still been unable to open after the October 29th storm devastated the entire Island Park community.


“Island Park was among the communities hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy with businesses, the post office, schools and even the library forced to close,” said Supervisor Murray. “We are hopeful that this donation of thousands of books will bring the library one step closer to being able to re-open.”


Councilman Santino added, “Many of the children here in Island Park lost all of their personal belongings, including books. I am happy to be able to participate in this program that will make thousands of books available to them once again.”


Reading Reflections was started by two teenage cousins, David Mendelsohn and Max Schneck, in 2005 with the collection of used books for a local preschool. They then began a mission of creating a library in a school in Guyana. The program has expanded from there and is now run by David and Max’s younger siblings, high school students Julia Mendelsohn and Jonathan Schneck. New and used books have been donated by the organization to non-profits and after-school programs on Long Island, Manhattan, Texas and more.


“The Mendelsohn and Schneck families have done so much to enhance the lives and educHempation of children around the country and Hempstead Town is proud to partner with Reading Reflections whenever we are given the opportunity,” concluded Supervisor Murray. “Their willingness to assist those who are less fortunate or have suffered extreme tragedy is truly remarkable.”


Visit the Town of Hempstead website