Photo Flash: Brooke Jackman Foundation Visits PS362
The Brooke Jackman Foundation and actors from the Screen Actors Guild Foundation BookPALS program just visited PS362 in the Far Rockaways. The SAG Foundation actors, including film star Samatha Mathis from the movies Little Women, Broken Arrow and How to Make an American Quilt, performed a dramatic reading of favorite children's books while wearing hilarious holiday hats, then distributed Brooke Packs -- backpacks full of books and school supplies -- to the 200 children in attendance. Other actors from the SAG Foundation's BookPALs children's literacy program included Broadway legend Kimilee Bryant from Phantom of the Opera, Dana Marie Ingraham from Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, Dionne Figgins from Motown: The Musical, and others. PS362, where the performance occurred, has just reopened after damage from Sandy.
The donation of 200 Brooke Packs was part of 600 that BJF donated to children in the Far Rockaways that have been affected by Sandy through the Safe Space organization this past Tuesday, December 18th, and part of over 3,000 Brooke Packs that BJF has donated to children
affected by Sandy since the storm.
The performance caused audible giggles and shrieks of delight from the children in attendance, who mingled with the actors afterward while receiving their Brooke Packs.
The Brooke Jackman Foundation was created 11 years ago to honor Brooke Jackman, a bright and compassionate 23-year-old who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks before achieving her dream of becoming a social worker. Brooke was an avid reader, and her passion and commitment to literacy and helping children spurred the Jackman family to create BJF as her living legacy - turning tragedy and despair into hope for a better world.
Since 2001, the Brooke Jackman Foundation has donated nearly 200,000 books and over 20,000 Brooke Packs, backpacks filled with books and school supplies, to children and families in need. BJF has established four libraries, as well as a number of after-school literacy programs, at sites across all five boroughs, including homeless shelters and Family Justice Centers for victims of domestic violence and crime in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The Brooke Jackman Foundation Read-a-thon recognizes the hope born from the tragic events of that day and celebrates the resiliency of New York and its children. For more information, please visit www.brookejackmanfoundation.org.
Samantha Mathis with kids