Hudson Literacy Fund Press Release November 13, 2020
Hudson, NY, — Got desks? Not every student in the Hudson City School District does, and for students who are doing all their learning from home, that is a real problem. The Hudson Literacy Fund vowed to change that, so it’s tackling the problem head on by providing 100 free desks. The fund is a 501(c)(3) that supports literacy within the Hudson City School District.
Board member and former teacher Lisa Dolan said, “Students need a space of their own, where they can focus, but they don’t all have that. Some of them are propping their Chromebooks up on coolers. They deserve better. They need their own space, an environment that feels dedicated to learning. Not everyone is so fortunate, and we want to help change that.”
From November 10th through 17th, teachers in virtual classes will use the district’s online learning environment to distribute a signup form so that any student who needs a desk can request one. The desks will be no-frills folding desks that can be stored away when not in use. One hundred desks were made available through collaboration with Teresa Saunders, manager of Staples on Fairview Avenue in Hudson. Partial funding is through a grant from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, Fund for Columbia County, which is also funding 100 earbuds to go along with the desks. The balance of the funding is provided by the Hudson Literacy Fund.
In the event that more than 100 students need desks, a fundraising effort will be undertaken.
Desk and earbud pickup will be at the Montgomery C Smith Elementary School front lawn on Friday November 20, 3:30-5:30pm, and Saturday November 21, 11am-1pm. A parent or guardian must be present to pick up the desk. Those attending the “Got Desks” pickup will include Assemblymember Didi Barrett, HCSD Superintendent Dr. Maria Suttmeier, Principal Mark Brenneman, Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson, and Aldermen representing the Hudson Common Council. Virtual teachers, members of the Hudson Literacy Fund board, and parents and friends will also be there socially distanced to help give kids their desks.
Christine Jones, President of the Hudson Literacy Fund, said, “We can’t expect students to excel if they’re competing for space at home. Distance learning is challenging enough. Ordinarily at this time of year the Hudson Literacy Fund would be fully engaged in our in-school programs, but with the pandemic, everything has changed. So, like everybody and everything, our organization is adapting. We’re continuing in our mission to encourage and bolster Hudson students’ belief in their ability to read, write, and fully express themselves, and this is us addressing the needs that are arising.”
The Hudson Literacy Fund defines literacy broadly as a willingness to engage with language to understand and find meaning in reading, writing, spelling, and listening. The Fund’s tools have been books, words, mentors, authors and in-school programs. Building students’ confidence as readers and writers can form a strong foundation for their future successes.
The Hudson Literacy Fund was created in 2013 to support and raise funds for the book festival. Since then, it has grown its work to a broader literacy mission, adding reading programs, book gifts to kids and libraries, monetary gifts to college bound seniors, and a Young Writers Competition. More information is available at thehudsonliteracyfund.com.