Chinatown’s Josiah Quincy Elementary School community was hit hard by the pandemic, but school librarian Heidi Boulogne is hoping to rebuild through books.
“Over the past year our students have endured trauma, loss of social connection, fear associated with the pandemic, in addition to the social unrest we currently face. Our community needs to heal, and the healing needs to start with our children. Our students love books. They love coming to the library and would appreciate having new books to borrow!”
“Our community needs to heal, and the healing needs to start with our children.”
Josiah Quincy Elementary is the winner of this year’s Shelf Help Partnership for elementary students and will be treated to a very special author visit organized by Wondermore, a local nonprofit dedicated to bringing authors to children in underserved communities. In addition, the school will receive new books, curated by Boulogne, to fill the shelves with titles that meet the school’s population.
“As a multicultural school we are currently trying to increase our culturally diverse texts for our Black and LatinX students, and find books celebrating Asian heritage. Students are happy to see books with characters that look like them and that celebrate their culture. It is also important for our students to see realities and experiences different from their own,” says Boulogne, an attorney-turned-school librarian.
“Students are happy to see books with characters that look like them and that celebrate their culture. It is also important for our students to see realities and experiences different from their own.”
Fondly referred to as JQES, this school serves over 850 students grades pre-K through 5th grade, with over 70% of the school’s families are functioning at or below the poverty level. “Our school does not have an annual budget for library books or author visits and so we rely on grants and fundraising to support the library,” says Boulogne. She has selected dozens of titles that reflect the kids that visit her space each day, from Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali’s The Proudest Blue to Andrea Wang and Jason Chin’s Watercress.
Books can be bought and donated by accessing Josiah Quincy’s wish list here, or you can also visit the BBF’s donate page to donate directly! Upon checking out, select “Make this a gift” and designate “Shelf Help” as the gift recipient in the appropriate box.