Speaking of social conscience, Rhymefest (Che Smith), Grammy award winning co-writer, with Kanye West, of the hit single “Jesus Walks” and a recording star in his own right, is running for Alderman in the 20th Ward in Chicago. He has some great ideas, foremost a commitment to improving literacy rates in his ward. To that end, he held a contest over the Winter break, to challenge all the public schools in his ward to read as many books over the break and write book reports. The winning school, Walter Reed Elementary won a party on the day after Valentine’s Day. Every child got a certificate signed by Rhymefest, all the Eli’s Cheesecake they could eat, and five books donated by Rock For Reading. The books were very warmly received, and we promised the principal that we would keep supplying books to the school.
A couple of months ago, Julia Snider, a middle school teacher at Audubon Elementary called and asked if her class could do a book drive. Her class, he seventh grade girls advisory, who call themselves, “John’s Hawks” after their principal’s name and their school mascot spent about 2 months collecting books for Rock For Reading. In mid February, we went over to pick up the books. Not knowing what to expect, I drove my car over and was confronted with so many books that it filled my entire car (Front seat, back seat and trunk) TWICE. In total, over 1000 books (still counting). These books are being sorted as we speak, and will soon be distributed to children in need of reading materials!
The girls are: Natalia Estrada, Olivia Carter, Iliana Alvarez, Monica Estrada, Delia Crisantos, Italia Fields, Yasmin Miranda, Ashlee Matias, Katherine Gomez, Ariel Gonzalez and Nicole Hurley. It feels good to see kids with a social conscience working together!