Print lives on, and gets a second life with students

GSK's Ivy Peterson addresses and the books donated to RIchard Allen Preparatory Charter School

GSK's Ivy Peterson addresses and the books donated to RIchard Allen Preparatory Charter School

Remember books? Well, as it iturns out, even though tablets and laptops and smart phones seem to be everywhere, people still read them.

In fact, a group of GSK employees in our Philadelphia Navy Yard office and other locations recently responded to a call for books from the Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School (RAPCS) in Philadelphia.

Richard Allen teaches students in grades 5 to 10 who come from diverse economic and ethnic groups. These kids are very interested in reading about  role models--politicians, inventors, civil rights activists, scientists, doctors, lawyers, musicians, etc. who made this country great. They enjoy informational topics about insects, animals and the sciences.

GSK’s African American Alliance, an employee group, reached out to Richard Allen, and they provided a wishlist of books for their students. More than 1,000 books later, our employees answered the call!

The employee group already had a mentoring program with Richard Allen , so this was a great way to further develop the relationship. Each month, 20 GSK employees in Philadelphia allocate 2 hours to mentor 18 eighth graders. During the sessions—held at our office in the Navy Yard--employees help educate the students in the areas of Science, Business Development and Business Acumen/Professional Training. The hope is that the lesson plans, which focus on both education and 1:1 time, can also be integrated into their work at school, providing for a continued learning experience.

The book drive was organized by Ivy Peterson, a GSK employee who currently mentors a RAPCS student.  “It has been so rewarding to see her mature over the past couple of years,” she says. “And I’m delighted that we have been able to provide these books that will fuel the students’ thirst for knowledge.”

On March 5th, while the students were at the Navy Yard for a mentoring session and presentation on professionalism in the workplace, we presented the books to the school.  RAPCS’s CEO Lawrence F. Jones, Jr., and Dr. JoAnnn Yaworski-Usher, Literacy Coordinator, students, GSK mentors, and GSK employees gathered to celebrate the outstanding support shown to the school.