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Teen Volunteer Reflection – Summer 2016

Sarah Hill, Age 17, Barrington, RI

As a “veteran” volunteer for Books Are Wings, it can seem like each summer is relatively the same: helping to run Book Parties at camps and other local events for young children. But each summer and each book party presents something new. Whether it’s a new place, a new craft, a new question from a child, or a new book, the combination of stability and fluidity has kept me at Books Are Wings for so long. But perhaps what I love most is the look on a child’s face when they are told that they get to choose books to take home forever, that are their own to keep. It is so rewarding and humbling to see their face light up at the thought of just two books. And then to watch them agonize over which books to take. As a child, I was provided with many, many books and can’t imagine growing up without them (even if I may have preferred watching TV over reading at the time). Each book party and each child who attends reminds me how lucky I was and how important the work we do at Books Are Wings is.

One of my favorite events this summer was an event in conjunction with the Providence Community Library’s Mobile Library in Providence. It was amazing to see so many children, of all ages, and families so excited about books. No one was making them come, they were coming in purely because of their love for reading. Due to the uniqueness of the event, we were able to have people take basically as many books as they wanted. Many families walked out with over 10 free books, some even more. I left this event inspired and excited about the impact we had made on many families in just two hours on a Sunday morning.

This summer, my third consecutive summer as a volunteer, I feel confident in saying that we have affected and hopefully changed for the better the lives of hundreds of children across Rhode Island. It has been amazing to see Books Are Wings grow and evolve over my time as a volunteer and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!

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