BookMates April "Meet A BookMate" is Sally Zeiberg!

Sally Zeiberg has been a BookMate for over 15 years and as Sally says, “like an addiction to ice cream, I have an addiction to BookMates”! On the Board of JFCS and already being involved in the Jewish Federation of Southern NJ, BookMates Director Rhonda Shevrin encouraged Sally to become a BookMate and she has not looked back since.

Sally reads weekly to 1st grade students and is always encouraged by the progress they make during the year. At the beginning of the school year the students are shy and need some time to warm up to their BookMate. The students need the confidence to know how capable they are of reading, learning and using their vocabulary, and understanding the letters of the alphabet. As the year progresses, the student opens up and realizes that they had these language skills all along… it was just a matter of drawing out their confidence! Sally is ecstatic to see the growth of the students she reads to as they develop their reading and vocabulary skills. The change from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year is something that never gets old. She likens this progress to her favorite book that she reads, The Little Engine That Could and the quotes of “I think I can, I think I can” that turns into the Engine congratulating itself by saying, “I thought I could, I thought I could”.

In addition to reading weekly, Sally is passionate about BookMates’ school partnerships. The school partnerships involve local middle school students who each write an age-appropriate picture book during the year and then read their stories to Camden elementary school students in June at the end of the school year. Sally always looks forward to this part of the year and wants to see this program continue and grow into the future.

After a day of reading as a BookMate, Sally is eager to tell family and friends about her experiences. She encourages others to read and get involved with BookMates as she knows not only the impact it makes on the student but also on herself.