By Lara Nicolson
Coordinator, PJ Library Baltimore
In August, the Baltimore PJ library team conducted a Back-To-School Enrollment Campaign. We were fortunate to attend several (Back-to-School) events at local Jewish preschools and share our program with their families. We were supported by the preschool directors who understand that sending free Jewish books into children’s homes takes Jewish education beyond the classroom walls.
At these events, we were not surprised when current PJ library parents, came up to us to praise the impact that the books had on their Jewish practices. We had a book rack on display and they would often identify their child’s favorite books and bring over new families to sign up.
According to PJ parent and committee member Jennifer Berman, “PJ Library brings Jewish life into the home and makes it accessible for young families. You read stories to kids anyway, why not find a way to introduce Jewish themes and values.”
This year, PJ Library is excited to take the next step in our commitment to supporting the preschools and their students by initiating a program called “PJ Goes to School.” This program educates teachers to use PJ books to enhance the Jewish content of the classrooms. Schools will receive books, resources and professional development. We are excited to be one of 14 communities that benefit from this program!
So now you are wondering how you can take PJ library to the next level in your home?
Maybe over the summer, you got out of your regular bedtime routine and your children fell asleep on the way home from the beach or snowball stand instead of reading with you in their comfy chair or bed? Heading back to school is the perfect time to re-establish a reading routine and introduce new books to your children. To start you off, here is a great PJ library reading list for the Fall chagim (holidays) that your children will enjoy:
• Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride by Deborah Bodin Cohen and Illustrated by Shahar Kober
• The Apple Tree’s Discovery by Peninnah Schram & Rachayl Eckstein Davis and Illustrated by Wendy W. Lee
• Apples and Honey by Joan Holub and Illustrated by Cary Pillo-Lassen
• Mitzi’s Mitzvah by Gloria Koster and Illustrated by Holli Konger
• Today Is the Birthday of the World by Linda Heller and Illustrated by Alison Jay
• Red, Blue and Yellow Yarn: A Tale of Forgiveness by Miriam Kosman and Illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
• The Hardest Word by Jacqueline Jules and Illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn
• Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake by Kelly Terwilliger and Illustrated by Kelly Terwilliger
• It’s Sukkah Time! by Latifa Berry Kropf and Illustrated by Tod Cohen
• Sadie’s Sukkah Breakfast by Jamie Korngold and Illustrated by Julie Fortenberry
• A Watermelon in the Sukkah by Sylvia and Shannon Rouss and Illustrated by Ann Iosa
• The Vanishing Gourds: A Sukkot Mystery by Susan Axe-Bronk and Illustrated by Marta Monelli
To sign up for PJ library go to pjlibrary.org or visit the Macks Center for Jewish Education library in the Park Heights JCC http://www.cjebaltimore.org/library and spend some time browsing our shelves for books and DVD’s that inspire you for the upcoming year- Shana Tovah from PJ Library!
Check out these upcoming PJ Library events:
September 29th: PJ Library and Pearlstone present a Storywalk at Family Farm Day: http://www.cjebaltimore.org/pj-special-events
October 20th: Shirlala Concert at the Gordon Center, co-sponsored by PJ Library: http://www.cjebaltimore.org/pj-special-events