July 2014  Volume 1 Issue 3

We had a most successful spring 2014. Our fundraiser at the Delaney House and D. Hotel & Suites was a huge success. We welcomed over 600 people to this wonderful and fun filled evening. We thank all who supported this event for Link to Libraries. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. New books for boys and girls are on order and will be ready for fall distribution. You did it!!


We welcome Roberta Hillenberg-Gang to our Executive Board. She is currently our newsletter editor and has contributed in many different ways over the past four years. You will hear more from her in this issue and in the months to come.


We wish all a wonderful summer season with good health. We will be back in the swing of things come September as we once again start up our read aloud programs, Welcome to Kindergarten literacy bag distribution and all our other programs.


We hope to hear from you. We welcome your ideas and support.


Have a wonderful summer season!



Susan Jaye-Kaplan

Link to Libraries, Inc.

President & Co-founder 




A Message from the Editor


As a member of the Executive Board I will be stepping up to take on Janet Crimmin's duties as she approaches her June retirement. It goes without saying that Janet will be a hard act to follow and she will be dearly missed. I am enormously thankful Janet and her husband, Tim Crimmins, will continue to serve on the Executive Board and offer their invaluable advise and insight.


I have been involved with Link to libraries for four years. I served as the project director for a pilot Link to Libraries read aloud program with senior readers from the Loomis Communities and was the organizing project director for the Welcome to Kindergarten, Holyoke program, now ably directed by Francie Cornwell. Currently, Kathy Kessler and I run the Link to Libraries Pre-school Read Aloud program at Square One in Springfield. I am also a monthly reader at the Brightwood School in Springfield and, of course, the Editor of News Links.


From labeling books, stuffing literacy book bags, counting books for the annual inventory, working on special events, participating in the Read Aloud programs to joining Sue at media and special events, one thing stands out above all else -- this is a remarkable non-profit organization, one that attracts individual volunteers, local businesses, and organizations who come together to help enrich the lives of our neediest students. We are motivated by the belief that every child in our community deserves the opportunity to achieve reading literacy with beautiful new books in their schools and for their own home libraries. I am so proud to be a part of Link to Libraries.




Roberta Hillenberg-Gang 

Executive Board

News Link Editor


Book a Trip Around the World A Great Success


The Link to Libraries biannual event, "Book a Trip Around the World: A Journey to Literacy," took place on April 30, 2014 at the Delaney House and D. Hotel & Suites in Holyoke. Over six hundred attendees were treated to an event unlike any other. Many thanks go to Peter Rosskothen and Chef Mick Corduff, owners of the D. Hotel & Suites and the Delaney House, who generously treated guests to delicious regional cuisine and signature drinks, each room representing a different country. Music, dance, themed floral designs by Flowers, Flowers! and lighting by CJC lighting created a festive atmosphere and an opportunity for local people to learn about the work  Link to Libraries does in our community. One hundred percent of ticket sales went to Link to Libraries.


The event featured artwork by nearly fifty students from Springfield and Holyoke public schools. The works included murals and posters on canvas, pottery and freestanding exhibitions for each country represented at the event. Many thanks to Julie Jaron (City of Springfield) and Bill Greaney (City of Holyoke) for organizing and displaying their students' artwork.


The event committee, lead by Sally Schneider (Longmeadow) and including Susan Bennett (Wilbraham), Gail Baquis (Longmeadow), Rachel Voci (Log Cabin/Delaney House), and Laura Robitaille (Westfield) worked diligently to make sure the event was one to remember.


We are very grateful to our the event sponsors: Health New England and Rediker Software, and our event creators; Delaney House and D. Hotel & Suites, Boston Beer Works/Commercial Distributing, CJC Events, Commonwealth Wine & Spirits, Flowers, Flowers!, Holyoke Public Schools Art Department, Springfield Public Schools Art Department, United Liquors, and Williams Distributing. This was truly a night to remember..


Business Book Link

Sue Landry, the Business Book Link project director, reached out to both sponsors and school principals to gauge how the program has impacted their local elementary schools. She reports that responses were overwhelmingly positive.


Dana Barrows of
Northwestern Mutual

One principal told us their sponsor bakes and brings chocolate chip cookies to his read-aloud sessions. He also sponsored the school's family literacy night, including the cost of purchasing books so each child who attended the event was able to go home with at least one new book. Thank you, Mr. Dana Barrows of Northwestern Mutual!! Another grateful principal wrote, "Monson Savings Bank has done an outstanding job supporting Ware Middle School...they have run a year-long financial literacy program for our 6th graders called Money Island. They also sponsored an evening event for parents and the general public on financial literacy at our school." Thank you, Mr. Steve Lowell! These are just two examples of the many great partnerships that have been formed throughout the year. Other sponsors purchased backpacks, filling them with school supplies to be used as incentives for students who read ten books; while others organized uniform drives and volunteered as readers in our Read Aloud program.


We cannot begin to thank all of our Business Book Link sponsors for all  they provide for the students in our underserved schools. These boys and girls receive both tangible and intangible benefits from the program and learn that their community values and supports them. There are still many more schools and students which need assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to sponsor a school or know of a business that might also be interested. 

RAP Reading Any Place

Link to Libraries continues to donate books through the RAP Reading Any Place program to homeless youngsters throughout Western Massachusetts. This year-round program will continue through the summer months.


Books are distributed in West Springfield, Westfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and Greenfield and through HAP Housing, Square One, and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance program for the Springfield public schools. Our collaborative team of Homeless Liaisons, guidance councilors, and principals is growing. They include Jordana O'Connell - Holyoke, Ellen Broadhurst - West Springfield, Cindy Rodolakis - Chicopee, Jennifer Alexander - Westfield, Leilani Paniagu - Hap Housing, Faith Lafayette - Department of Public Health, FOR Families Program, and Kathy Coleman - Square One. Some of the Springfield schools which have also received bins of books this past year include Elias Brookings, Homer Street, Kensington Elementary, Sumner Avenue, and White Street School. 


Celebrity Read Aloud &
Monthly Independent Readers

The Celebrity Read Aloud program had a very successful year. Our Celebrity Readers visited third grade classes at Homer, Kensington, Liberty, Safe, and Tatham schools. We added new readers to our program this spring; Eric Lesser, candidate for State Senate and Elizabeth Roman, The Republican, Springfield, were our newest readers. Our dedicated readers insp

Dave Madsen of WGGB ABC40 

ire and engage their young audiences with their own life stories, enthusiasm, and expressive readings.


Many of our celebrity readers enjoy the experience so much they have transitioned to our Monthly Independent Readers program at one designated school. We are so grateful to all our readers for their dedication and commitment.


We are busy building the schedules for the 2014-2015 school year. We will kick off another great year in the fall.    


Our Newest Pre-School Read Aloud programs:


Mason Square Read Aloud

Francie Cornwell reads to the students 

In January, Francie Cornwell and Margot Woodworth launched a new Link to Libraries Pre-School Read Aloud program at the Mason Square Head Start in Springfield. The program is modeled after the LTL Pre-School Program at Square One in Springfield run by Kathy Kessler and Roberta Hillenberg-Gang. Francie and Margot have been reading the book Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and then doing a short story-themed craft activity with the children. By the end of the school year they will have visited all six preschool classrooms. Each child receives a new book to bring home at the end of the day.


Pat Gentile, director at Mason Square, and the classroom teachers have been very appreciative One classroom teacher purchased other Pete the Cat books and created storyboards to go with them. The children are so excited and enthusiastic it is a joy to visit their classrooms. We look forward to continuing this program next year.


Metcalf Pre-school Read Aloud

Tammy Trudeau and Carol Fox are co-project directors for a new Pre-School

LTL's Tammy Trudeau reading and Principal Amy Burke 

Read Aloud program, which began in April 2014 at the Joseph Metcalf Pre-School on Northampton Street in Holyoke. Amy Burke is the school principal there. They read once a month and always give each child a new book to take home with them for their personal library.  

Welcome to Kindergarten
With the end of the school year winding down the Welcome to Kindergarten Literacy Book Bag program is ramping up.
Monson Savings Bank employees assemble book bags

Books are distributed in West Springfield, Westfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and Greenfield and through HAP Housing, Square One, and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance program for the Springfield public schools. Our collaborative team of Homeless Liaisons, guidance councilors, and principals is growing. They include Jordana O'Connell - Holyoke, Ellen Broadhurst - West Springfield, Cindy Rodolakis - Chicopee, Jennifer Alexander - Westfield, Leilani Paniagu - Hap Housing, Faith Lafayette - Department of Public Health, FOR Families Program, and Kathy Coleman - Square One. Some of the Springfield schools which have also received bins of books this past year include Elias Brookings, Homer Street, Kensington Elementary, Sumner Avenue, and White Street School. 

Eastfield Mall Tuesdays for Tots
Read Aloud Program
The Eastfield Mall Tuesdays for Tots Read Aloud Program continues to attract Springfield children every Tuesday morning at 10:30 in the Mall's food court. We've had wonderful support from the Eastfield Mall marketing department in making the program a great success. After reading books, the children participate in a craft activity with the Mall marketing staff. 


We want to give a big thank you to Nicole Sweeney and her marketing staff for their support this year. We truly appreciate our wonderful readers from the Eastfield Mall staff and our own LTL volunteers, Carol and Dave Tivoli, Howard Johnson, and Phyllis Walsh. If you would like to volunteer for the fall program, please email Gayle Rediker gayle@rediker.com Note: During the summer months, LTL readers are on vacation but the Mall staff will continue doing toddler story time on Tuesday mornings.


Fundraising and Special Events
Ellie Trudeau & Molly Finnegan collecting books
Our teen volunteers, Ellie Trudeau, Grace Trudeau, Molly Finnegan and Bobby Tremblay had a very successful movie night for children at Minnechaug High School on Friday, May 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

They collected many books and cash donations for Link to Libraries.

Volunteer Spotlight

For the Trudeau family, Tammy and Bill Trudeau and their daughters Ellie and Grace, Link to Libraries is a shared commitment. The enthusiasm and support they each, in their own way, offer is truly extraordinary. What stands out above all else is a passion for reading and a desire to ensure all children in our community have the opportunity to achieve reading literacy.


Tammy Trudeau has volunteered for Link to Libraries for the past three years.

LtoR: Ellie, Tammy, Bill & Grace Trudeau 

She co-chairs the Fundraising and Events committee with LTL volunteer, Michelle Tremblay, and is the facilitator for our Link to Libraries Teen Group. Tammy runs the Link to Libraries Metcalf Pre-School Read Aloud program with LTL volunteer, Carol Fox, and she is a presenter for the Link to Libraries Celebrity Read Aloud program. When asked why she likes volunteering for LTL, Tammy answered, "I think it is a fantastic organization. Reading is a huge part of my life and I love being able to see the children's faces when they receive new books."


Bill Trudeau is the President of Insurance Center of New England in Agawam, MA. He has been a property/liability and employees benefits broker in the Springfield area for 24 years. When Bill heard about the Link to Libraries Business Book Links program, he knew this would be a great way for his company to give back to the community. Insurance Center of New England sponsors the Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence in Springfield. He and his staff are readers at the School. Their sponsorship also enables Link to Libraries to purchase books for the Read Aloud program and the school library, and for each student at graduation. Bill says, "We love the kids at the MLK Jr. Charter School and it is gratifying to see them enjoy learning and enjoy receiving beautiful new books to read."


Ellie Trudeau is a junior at Minnechaug Regional High School. Her favorite subjects in school are Art and History. She loves drawing and painting. Ellie is on the Teen Advisory Board and helps label books before they are packed and ready for distribution. She helped organize two very successful children's movie night fundraising events. Ellie likes volunteering for Link to Libraries because, "It is a great cause. Reading books is something every child should have access to; it is not just a privilege. I am happy to be part of an organization that promotes this idea."


Grace Trudeau is an 8th grader at Wilbraham Middle School. Some of her favorite subjects include Social Studies and English. She enjoys playing sports, dancing, and hanging out with friends and family She has been a LTL volunteer for three years and, like her sister Ellie, is on the Student Advisory Board. When asked how she got involved, Grace explains her sister, Ellie, inspired her to join, making Link to Libraries a true family affair.   

Kudos to ... 

Jennifer Alexander who received her Doctorate in Education and Leadership in May 2014. Jen is a Link to Libraries volunteer along with her children, Emerson and Darien.


Andrew Robitaille, Suffield Academy, for preparing the PowerPoint presentation for the Link to Libraries April 30th event at the Delaney House


Abby Simon Plumb on her Bat Mitzvah in May at Sinai Temple


James McCormick,

Eagle Scout Troop 90 Longmeadow, for collecting over 600 gently used books for LTL as his 2014 Eagle Scout Project  



Casey Simon Plumb on graduating from Minnechaug High School; she will be attending Swarthmore College


Dan Fein on graduating from Longmeadow High School; he will be attending Wentworth Institute, Boston.


Alec Robinson on graduating from Minnechaug High School


Bo Sjoberg on graduating from Longmeadow High School


Kieran Summers on graduating from Wilbraham & Monson Academy; he will attend Quinnipiac College in the fall


Jack Nystrom on graduating from Longmeadow High School; he will attend Boston University this fall    


Connor Perry on graduating from Longmeadow High School.  


Emerson Alexander of Hampden. Emerson, a LTL Youth Advisory Board Member, recently received Honorable Mention in the Letters About Literature contest sponsored by the Federal Library of Congress. Emerson attends Thornton Burgess School and is the daughter of Jennifer Alexander who is a Link to Libraries Adult Volunteer Advisory member.

Special Thanks to ...

Integrity Martial Arts, Enfield, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Enfield for running a successful book drive to benefit Link to Libraries during the month of April 2014.


April 30 event committee: Sally Schneider, Gail Baquis, Janet Crimmins, Kelly Beaulieu, Laura Robitaille, Jen Alexander, Susan Bennett, Julie Jaron , Bill Greaney, Peter Rosskothen and Rachel Voci and the staff and partners at Delaney House and D. Hotel & Suites for a successful and wonderful fund raiser to benefit Link to Libraries in April.


Link to Libraries Youth Advisory Board members Ellie Trudeau, Grace Trudeau, Bobby Tremblay, and Molly Finnegan, who organized and ran the movie night for elementary school age children in April at the Minnechaug Regional High School.


Amanda Biron at Rediker Software for all her technical support.


Thank you to our grant foundations for their support:

The Frank Stanley Beveridge Foundation, Inc. 

US Trust / Bank of America


Charles Hall Foundation

Newman's Own

Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation

Health New England

United Bank


Chicopee Savings Bank

Big Y Foods

United Way of Pioneer Valley

Baystate Health Foundation 

Thank You to All Our Read Aloud Volunteers

Dana Barrows - Mittineague School, West Springfield

Kelly Beaulieu - Coburn School, West Springfield

Erica Broman and Holyoke Community College - Morgan School, Holyoke

George Burtch - McMahon School, Holyoke

Mary Daboul - Bowie School, Chicopee

Roberta Hillenberg-Gang - Brightwood School and Square One, Springfield

Michael Hirshberg - Selsar School, Chicopee

Kathy Kessler - Square One, Springfield

Susan Landry - Kelly School, Holyoke

Meyers Brothers Kalicka - Sullivan School, Holyoke

George O'Brien and BusinessWest Magazine - Rebecca Johnson School and DeBerry School, Springfield

Malcolm Schneider - Dorman School, Springfield

Bill Trudeau and Insurance Center of New England - Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence, Springfield

Karen Fortin - Woods, Discovery School, Greenfield

Sam Goldberg - Boland School, Springfield

Phyllis Dindas - Sumner Avenue School, Springfield

Brenda Garton - Homer Street School, Springfield

Susan Landry - Kelly School, Holyoke

Mal Schneider - Dorman School, Springfield  

Thank you to All Our Volunteers &
Advisory Board Members

Susan Landry, Casey and Abby Simon-Plumb, Susanne Simon, The Robitaille Family, The Trudeau Family, The Tremblay Family, Roberta Hillenberg-Gang, Sally Schneider, Gail Baquis, Kathleen Plante, Kieran Summers, The Grodsky Family, The Perry Family, Jack Nystrom, Alec Robinson, The Kessler Family, Kathy Kessler, The Fitzgerald Family, The Finnegan Family, The D'Amour Daley Family, The Crimmins Family, The Cornwell Family, The Weiner Family, The Rediker and Anderlonis Family, Amanda Biron, Phyliss Walsh, Carol Fox and Margot Woodworth, The Alexander Family, Lucy Metz, Katherine Bradford, Zach and Jacob Roulier, Abbie and AnneMarie Golden-Hunter   

Correction: In our previous issue of News Links, we incorrectly referred to Connor Daley's father, Tom Daley, as Dan Daley. 
Many thanks!



To Rediker Software, Inc.  

of Hampden for graciously providing us with warehouse space and for the many hours of volunteer  service their employees provide to us.  



In This Issue
Business Book Link
RAP Reading Any Place
Celebrity Read Aloud & Monthly Independent Readers
Welcome to Kindergarten
Eastfield Mall Tuesdays for Tots Read Aloud Program
Student Volunteers Hold Special Fundraiser
Volunteer Spotlight
Kudos to ...
Special Thanks to ...
Thank You to All Our Read Aloud Volunteers
Thank You to All our Volunteers & Advisory Board Members
Mission Statement

Link To Libraries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in May 2008, whose mission is to collect and distribute new and gently used books to elementary school libraries and non-profit organizations and to enhance the language and literacy skills of children of all cultural backgrounds.

Quick Links

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Join Our Mailing List
2014 Calendar
of Events

Link to Libraries Literacy Night at the Blue Sox
Baseball Game, MacKenzie Stadium, Holyoke

Saturday, July 19
300 new books for children ages pre-school to grade 5

September 10
Adult Advisory Meetings begin

September 18
Youth Committee begins

December 3
Holiday Gathering
Ongoing Read Alouds Throughout
the Region

Yankee Candle at Greenfield Public Schools


Dana Barrows at Mittineague School, West Springfield  


Kelly Beaulieu at Coburn School, West Springfield  


Mary Daboul at Bowie School, Chicopee


Mike Hirshberg at Selsar School, Chicopee


George Burtch at McMahon School, Holyoke


Holyoke Community College at Morgan School, Holyoke


Roberta Hillenberg-Gang at Brightwood School, Springfield


Tammy Trudeau & Carol Fox at Metcalf Pre-School, Holyoke


Margot Wentworth & Francie Cornwell at Mason Square Head Start, Springfield 


Kathy Kessler & Roberta Hillenberg-Gang at Square One, Springfield at King Street


George O'Brien and BusinessWest Magazine at DeBerry School, Springfield


George O'Brien, Kate Campiti and BusinessWest Magazine at Rebecca Johnson School, Springfield

Fast Facts

Link To Libraries has donated books to over 400 sites in Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York.

Since its inception in May 2008, Link To Libraries has donated over 228,000 new books to area non-profits and public elementary schools.

Link To Libraries has 32 teen and adult volunteers

Link to Libraries serves children from birth through grade seven

Link to Libraries has four major initiatives:


Reading Any Place for Homeless Youth - serving six cities and 1,800 children


Welcome to Kindergarten:

Literacy book bags for over 5,000 children annually


Read Aloud Programs:

Over sixty-seven for 2013-2014


Business Book Links:

Offering an opportunity for local businesses, individuals, families, and clubs to positively impact childhood literacy by providing books for children to own and donating books to school libraries in underserved communities. The Program creates business/school collaborations to ensure local public elementary schools in underserved Western Massachusetts communities, pre K - grade five, have new books in their libraries and students are able to create at-home libraries.

We Select Language-rich Books that -

Appeal to and cross all cultures


Encourage literacy-based family interaction


Address contemporary issues facing young readers


Engage reluctant readers


Build literacy-rich home environments


Introduce and reinforce new vocabulary


Encourage classroom discussion


Are aligned with classroom curriculum


Stimulate higher-level thinking


Allow children to make text-to-life connections


Genres include:


Board Books

Pre-Kindergarten Early Literacy





Health and Fitness


Earth, Life and Space Science

Award Winners and Favorites

Folktales and Fables



Favorite Character and Popular Series Chapter Books
Book Wish List

Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi

Anno's Spain by Mitsumasa Annon

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

Franklin (any of the series) by Paulette Bourgeois

Clifford by Norman Bridwell

Dex: The Heart of A Hero by Caralyn Buehner

Hairs/Pelitos by Sandra Cisneros

Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach by Carmen Agra Deedy

Liberty's Journey by Kelly DiPucchio

Penguin by Polly Dunbar

Little Tad Grows Up by Giuiano Ferri

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

In My Family/En Mi Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

The Day It Snowed Tortillas by Joe Hayes

On Top of Spaghetti by Paul Brett Johnson

Roberto Walks Home (or any other Keats book) by Ezra Jack Keats

Onion John by Joseph Krumgold

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Beautiful Warrior by Emily Arnold McCully

Precious and the Boo Hag by Patricia McKissack

Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora

Henry's Freedom Box by Kadir Nelson

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Magic Tree House (any of the series) by Mary Pope Osborne

Rainbow Fish To the Rescue by Marchus Pfister

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Get Red! by Tony Porto

A Good Day's Fishing by James Prosek

John's Secret Dream by Doreen Rappaport

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka

Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Margaret and Margarita by Lynn Reiser

Curious George (any of the series) by H.A. and Margret Rey

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

Harry Potter (any of the series) by J.K. Rowling

Mice and Beans by Pam Munoz Ryan

The Relatives by Cynthia Rylant

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

Hey You! Come Here by Elizabeth Swawdos

Detective LaRue by Mark Teague

Casey at the Bat by Earnest L. Thayer

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg

Good Night Moon (board book) by Margaret Wise




Help wanted

Person (youth or adult) to print LTL book labels. Labels are supplied.