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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

How One Book Baby’s Big Sister Spent Her Summer

“I don’t feel lazy or bored, and I feel like I’m getting something done,” explains Paige Leake, a 16-year-old junior at Durham School for the Arts, sharing why she spent her summer volunteering with our Book Babies program.

From the beginning of July until this week, when she started her junior year in high school, Paige spent about three days each week, three hours at a time, helping the Book Babies team organize inventory, prepare paperwork, and sticker books. Why did she choose to spend her summer this way? Paige explains that she didn’t have much planned for the break, and she had heard on social media through a friend (America Lopez, our summer intern) that she could volunteer alongside her at Book Harvest. When she mentioned the idea to her mom, she was reminded that her little sister, two-year-old London, is in fact enrolled in the Book Babies program. Her mom quickly connected her with Meytal Barak, our Book Babies Team Leader, and that started her summer of volunteering.

“I was very excited when I learned that Paige was interested in volunteering at Book Harvest,” explains Meytal. “I have been visiting her baby sister for the past two and a half years, and I have seen the commitment of this family to our organization and our community. It has been a pleasure having Paige every week with us, and I look forward to more opportunities of Book Babies siblings volunteering with us!”

Paige had some fun moments of reminiscing this summer when she came across titles she remembers loving when she was little: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and books about favorite characters Arthur and Olivia. She mostly remembers loving that Olivia the pig played dress up. She also learned that she really likes organizing children’s books, and she was grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the work Book Babies is doing for children like her little sister. Paige says she was excited to see that enrolled families can come to storytime to read and play games with Book Babies staff, and she wants to make sure London and her mom know that they can take advantage of that opportunity, too.

As for what’s next for her now that she has started back to school? She loves to dance and participates in contemporary and hip hop groups at school, as well as the theater program. She plans to study medicine when she graduates, perhaps to become a pediatrician. And no doubt she’ll share her favorite books with the children she cares for some day!

Thank you, Paige, for all you did to support Book Babies this summer!

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