BY KATHY CHANG
OLD BRIDGE — Some 15 Goddard Schools, including the school in Old Bridge, collected more than 11,000 books for Reach Out and Read in their part to promote literacy.
“It was wonderful joining other Goddard Schools as we all tried our best to reach our individual goal as well as our collective goal of 16,000 books,” said Patrice Keeser, owner of The Goddard School in Old Bridge. “It was a huge undertaking, one that was so meaningful to each school individually, and very impactful to each school’s local community.
“In the end, we collected 2,181 books, more than twice our goal.”
The other Goddard Schools that participated included locations in Middlesex, Bergen, Union, Essex and Passaic counties.
Keeser said this was the first time her school participated in the collection for the New Jersey branch of Reach Out and Read, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting literacy among underprivileged youth.
“In the spirit of commitment to family and community, every year since we opened in 2003, we participate in a few local sponsorships and charitable good deeds,” she said. “In addition to providing financial or other assistance, our participation helps our students understand the significance of service to others.”
Keeser, who oversees 120 students and 23 faculty members, said she was immediately on board when she was approached to partner with the other Goddards in her region for the collection. She said their assigned goal was 1,000 books.
“I must admit that I was immediately concerned and didn’t think that we’d be able reach that goal,” she said. “So, I contacted Mayor Owen Henry to help us kick off our drive. I created a plan to get the word out to our current and former families and to our local community.”
Keeser said donations started coming in from everyone.
“It was great to see our enrolled children so excited to collect and count the books, to see graduates come back to donate and to meet local community donors,” she said.
Contact Kathy Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org.