Libraries and Miracles in Haiti


Libraries and Miracles in Haiti

Libraries and Miracles in Haiti

“Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission.” --Toni Morrison

You heard about the Manchester Miracle-- the project we started in an inner city school to rebuild their musty, dirty, empty school library. (If you haven't, check this:

That project garnered international support, and ended up with Sam's Club taking on the total refurbishment of the Pittsburgh Manchester K-8 school library. New computers, shelves, paint, carpeting, a story rug, a huge, spreading tree, all this Sam's Club did and more. But it was our viral on-line campaign that brought in thousands and thousands of books. That library is transformed. It will be a resource for those children for many years.

Now I'm setting out to bring the joy of stories and literacy to the children of Haiti. In mid-February, Rodef Shalom, a Pittsburgh Reform Jewish synagoge, will set out on another mission trip to Haiti. We will be traveling with dentists, who will affect the children's dental and overall health for the better. And I will be working to rehabilitate-- possibly re-create-- the children's library there.

My intense interest in Haiti began two years ago, when the earthquake devastated the country. Moved to help, my students and I made art in the style of Haitians and researched the culture of the country. Now I want to bring my passion, love and energy to help Haitian kids learn to love to read.

Here's more about my plan:

Here is an article from a previous mission, led by the same group:

Pittsburgh author Karen Lynn Williams featured us in her blog! Hooray! Check out her marvelous books on Haiti: Tap-Tap, Painted Dreams and Circles of Hope, and her blog, here:

Here are some pictures of Haiti taken by the NYT and of Karen's books. You'll also find some images from the Manchester Miracle sprinkled in:


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  1. Evelyn Happy New Year Sheila, here's to you and your fantastic project! $100.00
  2. Lynette Lederman You inspire everyone, Sheila! $25.00
  3. Gail Livingstone Thank you, Sheila, for the opportunity to support this worthwhile mission! $100.00
  4. Sarah and Tim Fife We're so proud of you, Sheila...and we thank for continuing to inspire us with the amazing work that you do! xo from Sydney $108.00
  5. Maren Leyla Cooke Wishing safe travels to you and your companions, and knowing that you will have broad, deep, positive, and lasting influence there as here! $100.00
  6. Dori Oshlag What a meaningful project. Safe travels and wishing success to all who are able to go. $18.00
  7. Joe & Karen Slavick We're so very proud of you and the good things you do. $100.00
  8. Brenda Simpson Love you Shelia, your blessings just keep coming because you are always thinking of others. $100.00
  9. Jody and Steve Remember when you got laid off? Look at all of the miracles that have grown out of that!!! Keep rockin, girl! $100.00
  10. Arianne Hartsell-Gundy What a wonderful project! $40.00
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