Princeton University Library hosts a literacy event during Princeton Reunions

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On May 23, 2024, Our Kids Read, a Maryland-based, non-profit literacy organization led by Jahmal Lake ‘98, brought students from the Thomas Jefferson Intermediate School to Princeton University Reunions to explore both Cotsen Children’s Library, as well as Princeton University Library Special Collections. 

Cotsen Education and Outreach Coordinator Dana Sheridan led the leg of the visit to Cotsen, where the students had the chance to make buttons, read books from Cotsen’s extensive collection, and learn about the ways Cotsen brings its collections to life. "Jahmal gave the students and teachers from Thomas Jefferson Intermediate School such an amazing campus experience. It was a joy and an honor to be part of it!"

Later, the students visited Firestone Library’s Special Collections, where Reference and Outreach Specialist Emma Sarconi captivated the students with a presentation of several priceless items. Among the pieces were an authentic copy of the Declaration of Independence, a ballot book from Mercer County, New Jersey (1862-1882), and a small block of tea believed to be from the Boston Tea Party of 1773. 

"It’s not every day you get to show a bunch of 10-year-olds an authentic copy of the Declaration of Independence and watch their eyes light up (or their mouths twist at you skeptically!),” said Sarconi. “But being exposed to history like that can change someone’s life. It can inspire curiosity, challenge assumptions, open up their worldview, and provide validation. It’s such a privilege as a librarian to have that opportunity. I hope the students had as much fun as I did."

Published on June 14, 2024

Written by Brandon Johnson, Communications Strategist

Media Contact: Stephanie Oster, Publicity Manager