April 2015  Volume 2 Issue 2
From the President  

Dear Friends:


Learning to read is one of the most important steps in a child's life, laying the vital foundation for future knowledge and education. Research proves shared book reading and access to books in the home during a child's first, formative years are the strongest predictors of early literacy skills. At Link to Libraries, this is the focus of our programs.


Our organization has created a way to encourage people to get involved, read to children, and recognize reading proficiency is key to a child's future. We want proficient readers by grade 3 or 4. We want our boys and girls to be the best they can. We believe that Link to Libraries is doing that work, but it is never enough.


We hope you will take a look at our website at
. It offers information, insights and advice on how to be an effective advocate and volunteer. We hoSusan Jaye-Kaplanpe your visit to our website marks just the beginning of your long and rewarding relationship with our organization.


We look to you - our friends, supporters, neighbors and educators to help guide us in our work. Let us hear from you.


Enjoy the spring and all New England offers us!  





Susan Jaye-Kaplan   

Link to Libraries, Inc.

President & Co-founder   

Announcing our Newest Program:
"Books for Babies"


With a generous two-year grant from Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Link to Libraries is launching the "Books for Babies" program for newborns at Franklin Medical Center set to begin this June. The program will provide the hospital with a tote bag filled with a board book, information about Link to Libraries, parent educational materials from the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, and a nutrition and healthy lifestyle pamphlet prepared by Big Y nutritionist, Carrie Taylor. All newborns will receive the tote at the time of discharge from the hospital. Many thanks are in order to Baystate Franklin Medical Center President and Link to Libraries Celebrity Reader, Steven F. Bradley.


Margot Woodworth is the new program Project Director. She has been a volunteer with Link to Libraries for the past three years and is excited to oversee this new program. She notes, "The totes offer an inviting package for new parents and their baby with a message and a mission - promoting early literacy for all newborns and their families."   

Volunteers assemble and pack the "Books for Babies" totes.

Steven F. Bradley,President, Baystate Health Northern Region & Baystate Franklin Medical Center, and a dedicated LTL Celebrity Reader

Business Book Link


Thanks to Our Renewing Sponsors

Meyers Brothers Kalicka

Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law

Pride Stores

Sumner Pediatrics

Insurance Center of New England

Paragus Strategic IT

Monson Savings Bank

Dana Barrows

Adams Market

Trudeau Family

James Vinick

Valley Women's Health Group

FieldEddy Insurance

New England Dermatology and Laser Center


We Welcome Our Newest Sponsors:

Attorney Amy Royal, Northampton and Springfield offices, at Dunbar Community Center, Springfield 


Celebrity Readers


Welcome to Our Newest Celebrity Readers:

Janice Mazzola, Director of Human Resources, PeoplesBank at the Bowie School in Chicopee
Maura McCaffrey, President and CEO, Health New England at the Kensington School, Springfield
Tema Silk, Commentary Producer, WFCR at the Glenwood School, Springfield


A wonderful morning at Kensington School, Springfield with (L to R):
Gayle Rediker, Rediker Software, Yvonne Williams, United Way of
Pioneer Valley,
and Maura McCaffrey, Health New England

State Senator
(and Celebrity Reader)
Eric Lesser

Monthly Readers


Welcome to Our Newest Monthly Readers:

John Shreck, Director of Marketing, Rediker Software

Dora Robinson, President and CEO, United Way of Pioneer Valley

Rachel Voci, Log Cabin and Delaney House  

Martin Baicker, President and CEO, Jewish Geriatric Services  

Big Y Foods 

Alissa Korn, Amy Cohen and Carol Tivoli


Lynn Weiner, Read Aloud Educator, Advisory Committee member and Warehouse Supervisor/Manager, keeps our readers stocked with great books




Date: October 8, 2015

Time: 7:30 am breakfast   

Place: Link to Libraries Warehouse  

          2 Wilbraham Road,
          Hampden, MA 01036


RSVP by October 1, 2015 to litlink@hotmail.com


New book review: new and
experienced readers welcomed.


RAP (Reading Any Place for Homeless Youth)


Wonderful news for the boys and girls who receive new books from Link to Libraries RAP- Reading Any Place for Homeless Youth program.


We have been approved for a grant from Hasbro for 1,000 new toys to go with the tote bags, books and bookmarks we distribute to area boys and girls (some 2,100 children) in six cities of Western MA. Most of the children reside in Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, Westfield, Greenfield and West Springfield. This program has been on-going for 4 years now under the able leadership of Project Director, Gail Baquis.


We are honored by the support of Hasbro and for their caring for our children. Thank you for your continued support. 

Highlight on LTL Grants


The Sullivan Elementary School in Holyoke received a $600 literacy grant from Link to Libraries in the fall of 2014. They used the grant to pay for the Springfield Museum's The ABC's of Dr. Seuss travelling outreach program. The students love this interactive program designed to introduce key literacy skills and vocabulary through study, rhyming, play learning, art activities and much more.



Gail Baquis is Honored


Fifteen women, including Gail Baquis, Project Director for the Celebrity and Monthly Read Aloud programs and the RAP program, were named area Ambassadors for the American Heart Association's annual Go Red For Women campaign.

A promotional poster of the women, who were nominated as ambassadors against heart disease in women, was unveiled at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  
Gail Baquis with her husband,
Dr. George Baquis


Mary Ann Burns, the association's regional director of the American Heart Association called the Go Red Leading Ladies "role models" and said, in a release, they were selected for knowing the "importance of good heart health."  


One out of three women will be touched by heart disease.


Congratulations, Gail, on this well-deserved honor!

Young Volunteers Day:
You're Never Too Young


A group of seven youngsters donated their time on Martin Luther King Day to help Link to Libraries label books for distribution to children in Western Massachusetts.  

Ava Gagnon labels a book

The young volunteers, ages 3 to 8 from Longmeadow, Wilbraham and Holyoke labeled books to be distributed to school libraries across the region.

A group of young Link to Libraries volunteers, (L to R): Emma Landry, 7, Abby Golden, 4, and Ava Gagnon, 6
Fundraising and Special Events


Paint Sip Funraiser


Thanks to Molly Finnegan, Youth Advisor Committee member, for organizing an amazing Paint and Sip event at Elmcrest Country Club in East Longmeadow to benefit Link to Libraries on April 7. Women and children over 12 years enjoyed a fun and creative evening.




Good News for Link to Libraries


We've received the following awards and grants:


$1,500 award from Monson Savings Bank as the winner of their "Votes for Community Service Organizations" contest.   


Roberta Hillenberg-Gang, Newslinks Editor and Executive Board member, accepts a check from
Monson Bank President, Steven E. Lowell

 Newman's Own Grant sponsored by Big Y Foods for RAP - Reading Any Place for Homeless Youth program


Service League of Springfield Grant


Grant from Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Springfield for Welcome to Kindergarten program  

Our Youth Volunteers


Youth Advisory Volunteers Welcome New Members:

Elena Chechile, Monson; Taylor DiGiorgio, Monson; Zack and Jake Roulier, Belchertown


Kudos To:

Molly Finnegan -Youth Advisory member for a wonderful fundraising event at Elms Country Club with Paint and Sip. Molly is a student at Minnechaug Regional High School and planned this event on her own. Kudos to you, Molly!!! We so appreciate your hard work and energy.


Graduates: Ellie Trudeau, Jack Callahan, and Bobby Tremblay from Minnechaug Regional High School;

Abby Simons Plumb who will graduate Thornton Burgess Middle School, Hampden; and  

Madison Robitaille who will graduate Westfield Middle School, Westfield.


Special Thanks:

Thanks to our LTL Youth Office Support Team: Lucy Metz, Grace Trudeau, Elena Chechile, Taylor DiGiorgio and Bobby Tremblay. .  



Many thanks to Rediker Software, Inc. of Hampden, MA for graciously providing us with warehouse space and for the many hours of volunteer service their employees provide to us.  



In This Issue
Our Newest Program
Business Book Link
Celebrity Readers
Monthly Readers
RAP (Reading Any Place)
Highlight on LTL Grants
Gail Baquis is Honored
Young Volunteers Day
Fundraising and Special Events
Good News for LTL
Our Youth Volunteers
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
Upcoming Events

Ice Cream Social

Thursday, June 4, 2015

6:45 - 8:00 pm

Family invited to enjoy "make your own sundae: and let us thank you for all you do


Readers Workshop

October 8, 2015

7:30 - 9:00 am

Rediker Software

Dr. Jennifer Stratton



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 37 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 under-served communities. The Program creates business/school collaborations to ensure local public elementary schools in under-served Western Massachusetts communities, pre K - grade five, have new books in their libraries and students are able to create at-home libraries.   


Books for Babies:

Newborn literacy tote bags filled with board book, nutritional information, and educational literacy information. Funded by Baystate Franklin Medical Center and given to every newborn and their parents when they are discharged from the hospital


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

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

Help Wanted


Are you creative? We are looking for a volunteer to help with posters, signs, badges, etc.


Can you offer Link to Libraries copying services? We would love to be able to have copies made from time to time for our various projects and mailings.


Please contact us at 413-224-1031.


Wish List


Staples gift cards

WB Mason boxes

Copier paper carton boxes with tops