A year ago, PJ Library and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation introduced PJ Our Way to 10 communities nationwide. With more than 3,000 subscribers, this new program for children ages 9 to 11, has successfully been bringing Jewish books into older children’s lives as effectively as PJ Library has done with younger children over the last 10 years.
Louisville has been selected as one of only 24 cities worldwide to continue testing this exciting new program.
Building on the success of PJ Library, which gives the gift of Jewish children’s books each month to more than 140,000 children, ages six months to eight years old, in North America, PJ Our Way allows program participants to select one of four books every month, giving them more choice on their journey toward being life-long readers while introducing them to Jewish ideas. PJ Our Way is open to all eligible children even if they did not participate in PJ Library.
As part of the program, PJ Our Way participants can create book trailers, videos, quizzes, author interviews, and other media to communicate with peers about the books. A separate PJ Our Way website – www.pjourway.org –provides these new avenues for discussion.
“We believe these stories and their values help shape young people in their understanding of being Jewish, and it’s our hope that PJ Our Way will ultimately build a strong community of young Jewish people,” said Harold Grinspoon, founder of PJ Library and PJ Our Way.
Many years of development went into this program. Catriella Freedman, director of PJ Our Way states, “we’ve thought a great deal about how to engage older readers by giving them more choice in what they read and then giving them creative platforms to talk to their peers about the books.”
PJ Library Director Jennifer Tuvlin states, “we are so fortunate that Louisville has been selected for this program. Jewish children in Louisville can now have access to age (and reading level) appropriate Jewish books to complement what they are already reading. Many of the books come from popular series that kids are already reading such as the “Who Was. . .” biography series with choices including biographies of famous Jews such as Harry Houdini.”
PJ Our Way will have its kick off event in conjunction with the J Forty-Fivers on Friday, November 20 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Together families will enjoy a Shabbat dinner at which time we will learn about PJ Our Way and register on site. Then, Bricks 4 Kids will be there to have a Lego extravaganza. Even if you cannot make the kick off event, you can register your child at www.pjourway.org.
The PJ Our Way program is supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation based in Agawam, MA.