Christmas at Good Shepherd

By Anastasia Gruper


Betty Trummel and I get to pose with some very important people.

Children walked with their arms wrapped around books to donate as they entered Good Shepherd Hospital to see Santa. Throughout the night, they were engaged in various activities.  While some sat to tell Santa and Mrs. Claus what they wanted for Christmas, others created reindeer heads to carry home their “reindeer food.”  Still others gobbled up cookies and hot chocolate. When the fireman sat to read Twas the Night Before Christmas, the children all gathered excitedly on the carpet.  And when Santa started the caroling, everyone joined in.  This all was possible because the elves had planned and organized it all so well.



Through the hum of excitement, children stopped to inquire about literacy both locally and globally.  As they signed their names with hearts on book plates or purchased backpacks, they asked about kids in Africa. Some sat to watch and ask questions about the images of the children reading and writing.

My son, Michael, gets to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus!

My son, Michael, gets to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus!


As we packed up to leave, my five year old son turned to me and said, “It looks like the kids in Africa will be getting a lot of gifts for Christmas.”  I smiled back at him and said, “Yes, thanks to so many who donated.”

A Different Kind of Giving

By Mal Keenan



As we work to create light for others,
we naturally light our own way.

Mary Anne Radmacher

I love this quote. Creating light for others really does brighten up our own lives, and during the holiday season, people are more willing to shed light on adults and children in need. This is true in my own family. We have been deliberate in asking our sons to volunteer and help those less fortunate during the Christmas season. As a family, we brainstormed possible ways to get involved and we will work together to donate our time, energy, and resources. The spirit of giving is easy to instill into children and has long lasting effects while lighting our way.

What would Christmas be without literacy?

By Anastasia Gruper


What do teachers, nurses, firefighters, and Santa Claus all have in common?  They will be supporting the A to Z Literacy Movement on December 9th at Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington from 6-8.

After Santa arrives at the hospital aboard a fire truck, a local fire-fighter will read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” reminding all of us of the importance of literacy when celebrating our holidays.  Santa will pose for pictures with children while others make crafts and munch on goodies. Please join the cause to increase literacy by bringing a gently used book to donate, purchasing a book bag, or purchasing a book plate at the backward book fair.  There is no better way to begin the holiday season than by giving. We hope to see you there!

Count Your Blessings (and your books!)

r-READING-PILE-OF-BOOKS-large570By Ann Yanchura

If you’re lucky enough to have books all over your house or your classroom, then stop and take a moment to feel grateful. There are so many homes and schools where the choices for reading are slim or even nonexistent, and my heart aches for the children and adults who live in a world bereft of the love of the written word.

Most of us reading this blog have been raised to have our pick of many exciting and beautiful titles to choose from whenever we want to curl up and get lost in a book.

‘Tis the season for settling in for some warm winter reading.

‘Tis the season for browsing the bookstores for the perfect gift for your loved ones.

‘Tis the season to share your books and love of reading with others.

‘Tis the season to be thankful for books, large and small, old and new, heavy and light, funny and sad, true and not-so-true.