by Summer Starling, AmeriCorps member serving on the Bain & Company team with John F. Kennedy STEM Innovation School

“Since 1984, Trident Booksellers & Cafe has been providing Back Bay residents, students, and tourists with sustenance for the mind and body.”

This short excerpt of Trident’s mission statement perfectly reflects the nature of their generous donation to John F. Kennedy STEM Innovation School. Their gift of over 50 new books to our students is a gateway to the cultivation of a young mind nurtured with the sustenance of literature.

In November, John Card, an employee of Trident Booksellers & Cafe, contacted our team. During the 2014-2015 school year, he served as a City Year Boston AmeriCorps member with Ms. Wright's 5th-grade class.  As a holiday present to his “focus list” students (those he coached academically in one-on-one and small group tutoring sessions), he gave each of them a book of their choosing. This year, hoping to stay connected and give back to the school community that he views as family, he explored a way that Trident could take this idea a step further—raising money to purchase books for all the students on my team’s focus list.

Initially, he estimated that their fundraising would take two months, just in time for the holidays of 2015. Yet, three weeks later, he called us to gives us some amazing news. In this short time, they had successfully wrapped up their campaign!

Each of the books purchased were tailored to each of our students’ interests and strengths. Some of the books included elementary classics such as: Goosebumps, Junie B. Jones, Harry Potter, and The Teacher from the Black Lagoon. I opted to gift my students with books central around the acknowledgement and celebration of women of color. My list of books included: A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer, I Am An Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler, Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron, The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake, and Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor—all books featuring a strong female lead and a unique, inspirational, and riveting storyline.

The Bain & Company team would like to publicly and sincerely thank Trident Booksellers & Cafe, along all those who gave, for their commitment to expanding the personal libraries of our students and for believing in the power of literature. Thank you for inspiring young people with literary heroes, allowing them to explore their imaginations, and supporting their continued growth!

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