Remarkable Community Service Experiences
The summer before their junior year, Laura Dooley and Anna Elsasser, who are enrolled in the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) program, interned at Promising Pages, a nonprofit that provides low-income children with the literary sources they need.
Their primary responsibility was to host book parties for children from challenging backgrounds. Laura and Anna enjoyed dressing up in costume as "Erma the Bookworma" while delivering messages to kids about the joy of reading.
“I love how excited these children are when you give them their very own books to take home," says Laura. “They are so appreciative!”
Adds Anna, “I love building up the confidence in young readers so that they will love reading as much as I do. The experience made us want to create a Promising Pages Club at Country Day.”
After several months of laying the groundwork with Upper School administration, Laura and Anna held their first Promising Pages Club meeting in March with 15 members. The following summer, Anna returned to Promising Pages as a Summer Staff Intern and was in charge of 50 students her own age. The leadership position allowed Anna to learn even more about how to get young people involved. This year, the Promising Pages Club at Country Day has grown to 65 members. The experience also helped them to fulfill their IB CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) project, a requirement of the IB Diploma.
"The goal of Promising Pages is to give children in low-income situations the literary resources that they need," explains Laura. "But it doesn't stop there with our school club. In addition to holding fundraisers and book drives, Promising Pages club members also go to Lower School three times a week and read with our youngest students to get them even more excited about reading.”
Anna and Laura are also thrilled that Violet Phillips '19 will be the 2017–18 club president. “Violet is just as passionate about reading as we are, so this important work will continue for years to come in the Country Day community."
Laura, Anna, and Violet want everyone to know that if you happen to be cleaning out your children's bookshelves and want the books to go to a worthy cause, please consider donating the books to the Promising Pages Club at Country Day. "Feel free to contact us and we will make sure that the books wind up in excellent hands!"
Examples of students who are contributing to the greater good and leading by example: