Cover to Cover: It's National Read a Book Day

The SVdP staff shares their favorite books

Dream Center: Aden's First Book

Aden is an adorable kid. He has a mess of brown hair, eyes that match, and his face is lined by two perfectly round cheeks that frame his small smile. This first grader is a student at the Dream Center, an after school educational program held in SVdP’s dining room. It is here, that this six-year-old has been learning how to read. Aden is typically found practicing his letters and sight words, but today he’s ready for something new: to read a book. With a story in hand, Aden beelines straight towards the Dream Center’s Program Manager Cynthia. He’s ready to put his skills to the test. 

The two open the book, find a page, and Aden begins. He looks at Cynthia, who is giving him reassuring nods. Everyone around him has stopped, watching him tackle each new word and sentence as he flips through the pages.

Aden makes it to the final sentence, “M-m-muff, r-r-ruff, and mac. The end!” 

Cynthia beams with pride, “Way to go! The end! Good job buddy.” She raises her hand for a high-five, as Aden smiles. Today, he read his first book.

It is stories like Aden’s that illustrate how important reading is. A good book can change lives, encourage new ideas, and even bring people together. Similarly, SVdP is like a good book. Each day volunteers and employees come together to change lives, encourage new ideas, and bring people together. Which is why today, on National Read a Book Day, the SVdP staff wanted to share the books have made an impact on their lives.

Jessica Berg SVdP National Read a Book Day

Jessica Berg – Chief Program Officer

What is your favorite book and why?

“My favorite book is Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent. This book and I have had an incredible connection that started before my time at SVdP. Years ago, when I was working at the Human Services campus, my boss bought the staff a copy of this book and encouraged us to read it. I don’t have a lot of time to read, and it took a while, but I read it and enjoyed it. Years later, we had a garage sale after purging the house of everything we didn’t need. This included books. There was a pile of them, and Same Kind of Different as Me ended up in that pile. The entire day passed and no one touched it. Then, as we were closing up, a man showed up and wanted to buy all of the books we had. I saw Same Kind of Different as Me on top and I thought, “I should keep it”. But I didn’t. I let it go, and days later I regretted it. Then in January of 2016, I met with SVdP’s Board President, Steve Attwood.  As he and I talked, I learned more about the mission of SVdP, and it reminded me of that book I had read so many years ago. I told Steve about the book and how I let it go that day, and I wished I hadn’t. Days after our conversation, I got a package in the mail. It was from Steve, and inside was a copy of Same Kind of Different as Me and with it a note that said, “Don’t lose this copy. I got myself one too.” It was at that moment that I knew SVdP was the place I wanted to be.”

Lori Fusak SVdP National Read a Book Day

Lori Fusak – Mission Engagement Coordinator

What is your favorite book and why?

“My favorite book is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. When I was a senior in high school, the story changed my life. It taught me about love, faith and hope. Here is a quote that has stuck with me over the years, "To love another person is to see the face of God." I am also a huge fan of the movie and Broadway production.”

Nancy Sayers SVdP National Read a Book Day

Nancy Sayers – Donor Relations Assistant

What is your favorite book and why?

“Mysteries are my choice for pure reading enjoyment.  However, I’ve chosen two books from my reference library to highlight, Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself by Florence Littauer and The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are by Kevin Leman. These books give great insight into others.”

Jessica Haag SVdP National Read a Book Day

Jessica Haag – Public Relations Manager

What is your favorite book and why?

“Two books that stand out in my mind are Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Harry Potter was one of the first series that excited me about reading. Prisoner of Azkaban in particular became my favorite story of the series because of the characters Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Their relationship and history fascinated me. Reading those books always made me feel like I was a part of something bigger. Those stories allowed me to connect with others fans who felt the same way.”

The Night Circus is a beautiful book. The imagery, the story, the romance –it’s all so whimsical. The writing is vivid and descriptive. I always feel as if I am walking through these stunning, magical exhibits. As a reader, to feel transported is all I could ask for.”

Kara Beer SVdP National Read a Book Day

Kara Beer – Development Grants Officer

What is your favorite book and why?

“I love the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel. Frog and Toad are best friends who navigate many pitfalls together. Their friendship grows stronger as they learn to share (cookies, a kite), be kind and brave (when confronted with a snake), and help each other (raking leaves). Which are things I need to be reminded of, even as an adult!”

Whether you are a fan of non-fiction, science fiction, mysteries or short stories there are hundreds of genres to choose from. So, find your favorite book or read one of ours and celebrate National Read a Book Day. 



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