Sibylla Benatova, A Book A Day Founder & Program Manager
Building libraries and collecting books is a passion best shared. My hope is that our selection of books will promote an appreciation for children’s literature and will develop visual literacy among young readers.
I am a graduate student at UPenn, studying Social Policy. I joined A Book A Day because I truly believe in equal access to education. Every child deserves to have a brand-new book in their hands to read and learn from. This program offers opportunities to children who might not have such easy access, and I am very proud to be a part of that. I’m hoping that with my policy studies I will be able to contribute my knowledge and skills to improve many things in this world such as educational opportunities.
I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016 with my master’s in Reading/Writing/Literacy from the Graduate School of Education. During that time, I had the opportunity to hold a work-study position through Penn Libraries that allowed me to be a part of helping to rebuild the book collections in public school libraries in West Philadelphia. After graduating and working for a year in adult education, I decided to return to school to get my nursing degree, which I finished this summer. I appreciate this time working with the Book A Day program and hope to continue to learn and draw energy from the passion that exists around making children’s books from around the world accessible here. In the future I hope to combine my interests in both health and literacy in a unique way.
I am currently a senior at Penn. I study German and would like to become a teacher. A Book A Day gives children access to new, quality books that expose them to stories, histories, and perspectives they might not otherwise experience. This is a vitally important program that deserves all the support we, as the Penn community, can provide.
Today, I am a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in History with a concentration in Early American studies. I recently published a book about my hometown of Muncy, Pennsylvania, and am currently engaged in book-signing and talks across the state. Working with Book A Day has been an absolute pleasure. Growing up in a small town, I think these sorts of personal connections to local schools are extremely important. The topics that the selected books address are so diverse, entertaining and educational, and I am always excited to see each month’s new additions!
I am currently a full-time Nursing student at Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. My involvement in the “Book a Day” program was so meaningful to me. Growing up in Philadelphia, I had firsthand experience of the lack of upkeep in public school libraries. Even though most of the schools I attended had libraries, the outdated books made it impossible to find interest in going to the library. Even though my mother would buy me books, the library is where a child has the freedom to let their mind run wild. Giving my time to a program that gives children a reason to read, imagine, and broaden their vocabulary is all that I could ask for. Seeing the excitement on students’ faces learning about new books that they would not come in contact with without the program is priceless.
Dr. Marie Nicole Pareja Cummings
I am a consulting scholar for The Penn Museum, an archaeologist and art historian at Millersville University and PSU-Harrisburg, and I work on the Stelida Naxos Archaeological Project (SNAP) and Sissi Excavation (as their plasters specialist). I am also the director of the Plasters Analysis Project (PLAN). A Book A Day lays the groundwork for a drastic increase in educational equality, and it addresses several very real topics that are often overlooked in early education, including the disappearance of activities and classes that encourage creativity, self-expression, and the early formulation of self-reflection. I cannot think of a more loving way to engage with and begin to right these issues — this project is stellar!