As some of you may know (since I have not stopped yammering about it on Facebook), I’m working on an auction of children’s book art to help Maxie’s adorable little public school try to save its embattled library and the job of its wonderful librarian. This is a school where over a third of the kids qualify for free lunch, and many more live just above the poverty line. CLICK THROUGH OR I WILL STOP LIKING YOU.
It is a warm, wonderful, menschy, diverse, collaborative and cooperative place and I LURVE IT. And I want it to have a library.
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME. Let’s talk about you. You want to bid on some stuff.
You probably know someone looking for art for a kid’s room, decorating a new apartment, in need of a new baby gift, or simply in love with great children’s books. And if you are a Jew (and let’s face it, if you’re reading this there’s at least a 50% chance you are a Jew), let me tell you that we have some amazing Jewish children’s book art in this auction that uhhhh not that many people are bidding on! You can get a freakin’ SAMMY SPIDER ORIGINAL COLLAGE for a song! Plus we have Maira Kalman (who donated a valuable limited-edition print, currently selling for half of what it goes for in her gallery), Jaime Zollars (illlustrator of Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale by Barbara Diamond Goldin) and Kristina Swarner (winner of multiple Sydney Taylor Awards and illustrator of Gathering Sparks by Howard Schwartz, and Zayde Comes to Live by Shari Sinykin, named one of the Best Jewish Children’s Books of 2012 by Tablet Magazine as chosen by uh me). Oh, and one of the best picture books about baseball, You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! along with an autographed photo of Koufax. The auction features a metric ton of Caldecott winners — Jewish and not so much — and emerging artists, all at great prices. Research shows that having a school librarian is strongly correlated with student achievement, and the less wealthy the school, the stronger that correlation is. Our school also has one of the largest percentages of children with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) in our district, and Cheryl is a magician at reaching reluctant and emerging readers. You may also enjoy this beautiful video (I CRIED) about how much Cheryl and the library mean to us.
There’s nothing left from our budget to cut: In the last three years, we’ve cut our Reading Recovery program, our math coach, our literacy coach, our assistant principal, a school aide, all professional development contracts and our supplies budget, and we’ve increased class size in all grades. We don’t want to lose our library too. But if we don’t raise an additional $40,000 a year from now on, that’s exactly what will happen.
So please spread the word: A person can buy gorgeous, distinctive art and kid-friendly books, and do a good deed at the same time. WIN-WIN! CLICK ON OVER ALREADY!! The auction ends Friday at 2:50 PM EST. (UPDATE: All done, raised $8700! And people are still donating online. For what it’s worth.)