Margaret's House Literacy Project
Throughout my time at BC, my life has been closely intertwined with Margaret's House at St. Mary's Center for Women and Children. As a student in the PULSE service-learning program, I volunteered with the families living there in Boston. We shared meals, celebrated holidays, and worked together on homework. That's when I realized that many of the children struggled with their schoolwork and reading assignments. While they all had different reasons, I found that some of the moms did not regularly read to their children. I applied for a Legacy Grant to take on the Margaret's House Literacy Project—to ensure that everyone there had access to a library.
My goal was to create a safe, accessible space for mothers and their children to cultivate a love of reading. I discovered that while some kids hadn't learned to like reading yet, others hadn't even learned the alphabet. It was therefore critical to collect books of all levels that kids wanted to read. I spent time reflecting on the books and characters that I loved as a child: Madeline, Dr. Seuss, Junie B. Jones, and Harry Potter. I immersed myself in their narratives back then, and I wanted the children at Margaret's House to feel those bonds today. It took me all summer to create a book list, but when it was ready, I was thrilled with the selections. The Legacy Grant Committee assisted in ordering the books as well as the bookshelves needed to house our new literary treasures. We encountered many challenges, but their support was invaluable in making this dream a reality.
An important part of the Legacy Grant program is sustainability. We want future families to enjoy the library, so we've labeled all the books as property of Margaret's House. And, beginning this year, the Margaret's House library will be managed as part of the PULSE program.
I'm so grateful that my Legacy Grant has helped improve the lives and literacy of families in our local community. Thank you.
—Tara Hebert '18