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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Link to Libraries and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts announced a partnership to provide books and meals to hundreds of local families in need in Western Mass. In partnership with the Northampton and Springfield Rocks radio groups, the organizations launched the “Feed the Body – Feed the Mind” campaign, distributing children’s books and meals to families at several Food Bank member organizations’ designated meal-pickup sites in Springfield, Easthampton, Greenfield, and Holyoke.

“During these uncertain times, Link to Libraries has remained committed to ensuring that underserved children throughout Western Massachusetts have the books they need to continue learning,” said Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of Link to Libraries. “That’s meant we’ve had to get creative and find new ways to distribute books while schools remain closed. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with these wonderful organizations to feed the bodies and minds of those in need in our community.”

Christina Maxwell, director of Programs for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, added that “the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is delighted to be partnering with Link to Libraries and the Northampton Radio Group and Springfield Rocks Radio Group to be able to provide books to kids. Young people are facing many challenges right now, including both food insecurity and a very unusual school year. It is also giving us an opportunity to remind everyone how important it is to complete the census by the end of September. The results of the census have a major impact on funding for schools, libraries, and nutrition resources.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Link to Libraries recently launched a new initiative called “Link Live: Bedtime Stories,” airing on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8 p.m. on Facebook Live (facebook.com/linktolibraries). Children’s book authors are reading their own books and then taking questions from participants.

This is a unique platform to bring reading into the homes of children across Western Mass. and beyond who are at home learning instead of at school during this difficult time. With the use of Facebook, children and their parents can not only enjoy being read to, but also have the unique opportunity to interact with the author in real time.

“We are all living through a very scary and unprecedented time,” said Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of Link to Libraries. “Knowing that books and stories provide a wonderful way for children and adults to escape from it all, we decided that we would deliver them right to everyone’s home.

“I was blown away by the response from the children’s book community, as author after author volunteered to share their own stories and to answer children’s questions about their writing life,” she added. “I honestly can’t thank them enough for making this outreach program possible.”

Authors Jamie Michalak (The Coziest Place) and Anika Aldamuy Denise (The Love Letter) were this week’s readers. Upcoming participants include Ashley Morse (The Big E Book) on Tuesday, April 14; Josh Funk (Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast) on Thursday, April 16, and Cynthia Platt (A Little Bit of Love) on Tuesday, April 21.

Link to Libraries is planning to extend the program into May and will be releasing an updated schedule soon.

COVID-19 Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Link to Libraries and MGM Springfield announced a partnership to promote learning and literacy in support of Springfield students who are out of the classroom and learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Link to Libraries and MGM Springfield donated more than 1,000 books to children ranging from kindergarten through high school. The books were distributed to families through the 15 schools designated as lunch pickup sites.

“Link to Libraries is committed to helping ensure that students have the tools they need to continue learning during this time of uncertainty,” said Laurie Flynn, the organization’s president and CEO. “We are so very grateful to MGM Springfield for partnering with us so that we can get books into the hands of the children who need them most.

“We know that increasing a child’s access to books dramatically improves their chances of becoming a proficient reader, and, sadly, a significant number of the children we serve live in homes with no books,” she added. “Together with MGM Springfield and our donors and volunteers, we will continue to ensure that the children of Springfield have the tools they need to succeed, even during these challenging times.”