FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2009
CONTACT: Ann Rose Chefitz
JWI Dedicates Children’s Library in Bronx Battered Women’s Shelter:
31st Library in Pledge of 100
Washington, DC- Jewish Women International (JWI)’s National Library Initiative (NLI), working to establish 100 children’s libraries in homeless and battered women’s shelters across the United States, dedicated The Helen & Aaron Spiegel Library Monday morning at the Sarah Burke House of Sanctuary for Families in Bronx, N.Y. Stocked with hundreds of new books and brand new furnishings, each of these libraries provide a safe place to read, a quiet place to study, and a chance for kids enduring difficult circumstances to continue to learn and grow.
The Helen & Aaron Spiegel Library was generously donated by the Spiegel/Kupfer Family. Cindy Spiegel, a former JWI Woman to Watch and co-founder of Spiegel and Grau, a division of the Doubleday Book Group at Random House, along with her husband Peter Kupfer and their children Jonathan and Rachel Kupfer, were especially excited about this opportunity because it was not a purely monetary giving opportunity. “We’ve checked with the shelter, and they’re happy to have us read to children or do whatever they need us to do,” said Spiegel.
According to Shelly B. Rose, director of operations for Sanctuary for Families, 56 families, including 70 or more children, half under the age of 5, reside at any one time at Sarah Burke House. The library donation will allow the shelter to transform a large multipurpose room into a children’s library and kid-friendly space. “We are looking for innovative ways to engage children and families,” says Rose. “The children’s library concept offers us a way to do this on many levels.”
“Access to printed materials is the critical variable in determining a child’s ability to read,” said JWI Executive Director Loribeth Weinstein. “Giving a child the opportunity to crack the binding of a new book and learn to read it on his or her own is about so much more than books. It is about investing in a child’s future.”
All of JWI’s libraries include at least 250 brand-new children’s books; three bookcases; one child-size rocking chair; an adult rocking chair; a child-sized table and four chairs; and one large colorful carpet. In addition, the Helen & Aaron Spiegel Library includes a computer desk, chair, computer and printer. Community members are encouraged to help out and fill the shelves with children’s books by donating at www.jwi.org/bronx or contacting JWI to learn about volunteer opportunities. To find out more at JWI’s National Library Initiative, visit www.jwi.org/NLI.
Sanctuary for Families is the largest nonprofit in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims and their children. Each year, Sanctuary helps thousands of victims and their children build safe lives by offering a range of high quality services to meet their complex needs. These services include clinical, legal, shelter, children’s and economic stability services. Sanctuary also works to end domestic violence and its far-reaching impact through outreach, education, and advocacy.
Jewish Women International is the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls through economic literacy, community training, healthy relationships education, and the proliferation of women’s leadership. Our innovative programs, advocacy, and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. For more information, please visit www.jwi.org or contact us at 800.343.2823.