Pam Stewart

Volunteering at ODWC's Book Parties is one of my greatest pleasures. I'm a retired teacher, so I know it takes a lot to inspire lifelong readers. Access to wonderful books is a key ingredient. This is where Opening Doors steps in. Through generous donors, they provide fresh new books, backpacks and school supplies to children in need.

I became a volunteer after meeting Julie White-Gooding and learning about Opening Doors' goals and achievements.Book photo 1 Supporting children's literacy in my community is a meant-to-be opportunity for me.

My Book Party experiences have been incredible! As children arrive and see our colorful book displays, books with titles like The Pigeon Needs a Bath and What If You Had An Animal Nose?, they are wide-eyed with excitement. I see them pick out a book and hug it lovingly in their arms, a new treasure to start or add to a personal library. From the delight of choosing books and the "oohs" and "aahs" over backpacks and abundant supplies, their joy is palpable.

Over 500 children started school this fall with materials from Book Parties in the Westerly Elementary Schools, the Head Start Program and the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative. Susan Martin, principal at Springbrook, said, "These supplies honor our students as learners and get them Book photo 2excited about school."

I'm privileged to work alongside an outstanding group of volunteers. It hasn't taken much time and effort, and I've reaped tremendous rewards. If you're passionate about children's literacy, come join us. We'd love your help to meet the needs of Westerly's children.



This article was written by Pam Stewart, ODWC's Volunteer Coordinator, for the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Opening Doors's newsletter. If you wish to find out more about volunteering please click here.