hat's a girl to do with 26,000 brand new books? Donate them, of course. That's exactly what Jessica Platt, 17, of Woodbury has been doing - donating thousands of books to area hospitals including close to 3,000 to Winthrop's Reach Out and Read and
Child Life Programs.
a personal visit to Winthrop's Child Life playroom to present more than ten cases of
children's books in English and Spanish to Annmarie DiFrancesca, Director of the Child Life Program at Winthrop and Amy Jo Davison, DO, a Winthrop pediatrician who
is active in the Hospital's Reach Out and Read initiative. The donation was divided between the Child Life Playroom where hospitalized children can find a "safe haven" from the hospital setting and Reach Out and Read, a program in which pediatricians encourage
parents to read to their children at an early age.
As a hospital volunteer, Jessica said she saw so many children just sitting and waiting Ñ either in the emergency room, in their hospital rooms or for a surgical procedure.
"I thought if these kids had a book to read, it would help them pass the time," she explained.
|Jessica Platt of Woodbury (center) with Annmarie DiFrancesca, Director of the Child Life Program (right) and Amy Jo Davison, DO (left) show off a few of the thousands of books Jessica donated to Winthrop-University Hospital. The books will be used in the Child Life playroom and for Winthrop's Reach Out and Read Program.|
And, so Jessica's mission to get local publishing houses and authors to donate children's books to her new cause was born. She began with an extensive letter writing
campaign, sending out hundreds of letters. Jessica said
she only expected to receive a couple thousand books in return and was quite surprised when offers and tens of thousands of books came pouring in.
"This project has been worth all of the effort," said Jessica. "It's really great to make kids who are in the
To learn more about the Reach Out and Read
Program or the Child Life Program at Winthrop, call