Junior League of Troy Volunteers Use 1,129 Books Donated by the Troy Community to Create Children’s Libraries at Vanderheyden Hall

Junior League of Troy Volunteers

Use 1,129 Books Donated by the Troy Community

to Create Children’s Libraries at

Vanderheyden Hall


Junior League of Troy volunteers Jodie Barber, Kathleen Lisson, Liz Oakley, Maura Przybylek, Pam Reger and Heather Silvernail gathered at Vanderheyden Hall on Saturday, May 31 to complete the last step of the year-long effort to improve childhood literacy by increasing access to books for the children living at Vanderheyden. The volunteers placed over 1,100 donated books into donated bookcases to create a children’s library in each of the seven cottages at Vanderheyden Hall.


Junior League of Troy volunteer Jodie Barber said, “when Pam and I got to cottage four, one of the kids had already started going through the boxes of books. He was surrounded by piles of books! When he got through looking at all of them, he chose a copy of The Hunger Games and started to read.”

Earlier in the year, volunteers spoke to the Vanderheyden children about their interest in reading – view details from that part of the project here: http://www.jltroy.org/juniorleaguebookcaseproject/


Junior League of Troy volunteers

Junior League of Troy volunteer Liz Oakley said, “sorting the books in each cottage and seeing the specific interests of the children was very interesting. Knowing that when they get home, they will see the books they were looking to read is very rewarding!”

Last year, Junior League of Troy volunteers asked the Troy, NY community to donate books to help make the Vanderheyden bookcase project a reality. Families from around the Capital Region donated thousands of books to the Junior League over the past six months.

Junior League of Troy volunteer Maura Przybylek said, “my favorite part about volunteering was when Heather and I walked into a cottage and two of the boys immediately started looking in the box of books. They were very appreciative and excited about having lots of books.  They helped us organize the books. The best part was as we were leaving we noticed they were both sitting down looking at a book we just brought in for them.”

Founded in 1833 as the Troy Orphan Asylum, Vanderheyden Hall provides residential and community services to youth, individuals and families with educational, developmental, behavioral and emotional challenges.



Junior League of Troy Sustaining member Pam Reger said, “in one cottage, a young man was already sorting through the box of books. He found one he liked and immediately sat down and started reading it.”

Earlier in May, Junior League of Troy volunteers gathered to ‘shop’ for books for the Vanderheyden Bookcase Project. Each member or team was given an interest and reading level list for a cottage at Vanderheyden and invited to choose books for ‘their’ cottage from the League’s selection of thousands of books donated by families around the Capital Region.



Junior League of Troy volunteer Heather Silvernail said, “while helping us sort the books in one cottage, a boy found some Disney Cars books and Marvel superheroes books and said ‘These are awesome!’ He picked out a Spiderman I Spy book and, after helping sort books, he sat down on the couch and read with a staff member.”


Junior League of Troy volunteer Kathleen Lisson appreciated the fact that the children put together their own bookcases and had a hand in choosing what types of books they would receive. “I liked connecting the interests we heard from the children this spring with the types of books we put in their bookcases. I have many happy memories of reading Judy Blume books and now another girl will have her chance to meet Margaret Simon and Fudge.”

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