WEST MILFORD, N.J. – Children in Upper Passaic County now have a new “cozy” place to read, thanks to the efforts of a West Milford eighth-grader.
To achieve her Girl Scout Silver Award, Eileen Van Kirk volunteered to build a bookshelf and storage bench for the Highlands Family Success Center’s new “cozy book corner,” said Kelly Hart, community and volunteer coordinator for the center.
“The children are already exploring the new area, where they can play with other children or engage with their family members,” Hart told Daily Voice. “During story time, the children now enjoy picking their own books out for us to read together and it has helped during clean up from our activities as the bench is also holds toy storage.”
For her work, Van Kirk received a certificate of recognition from Alison Blake, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. The department pays for the center and others throughout the state that serve as one-stop shops to provide wrap-around resources and supports for families.
Blake visited the center in West Milford in September during National Literacy Month to help celebrate the new book corner. While there, she read the book “Brown Bear Brown Bear” to a group of children from the local Head Start agency, and also joined others in a tour of West Milford’s new library space.
“We support her vision of promoting early literacy in children and families,” Hart said of Blake.
Hart also said she and others at the center “are committed to continue working towards strengthening and empowering our community of Upper Passaic County.”
For more information on the Highlands Family Success Center, visit http://highlandsfsc.org.