“Welcome to Mott Elementary!” “How do you do?” “Welcome to Mott!” “How do you do?” “Can I have a book?” “Can I have a book?” “Can I have a book?” These words rang out loud and clear in front of Mott Elementary School on a brisk December 14 morning. On this fourth annual Hopewell Valley Day of Remembrance, the complete joy in the faces of a group of young students, all so eager to have something as simple as a book, took a tiny edge off remembering the unspeakable act that we will never forget. The residents of Newtown, Connecticut have asked that we make the world a better place through acts of kindness, and Hopewell Valley residents came through again this year with hundreds of donated books for children.
For 2016, the recipient elementary school was Mott Elementary, on Stokely Avenue in Trenton. The students raced to the car to gather the bags and boxes of books, and then raced back into their school with them. All the books made it inside where they will be sorted, with a few staying in the school library, and the rest being given to the children to take home as gifts from Hopewell Valley.
The pre-reader board books donations were taken to the Children’s First Academy in Trenton. Through social media introductions, the Hopewell Valley Day of Remembrance volunteers were introduced to a pivotal and vital member of the Trenton community, Rev. Dr. Francisco Pozo, vicar of Christ Church-Cristo Rey.
We were honored to be invited to visit Father Pozo at his school and drop off the book donations. Father Pozo’s work has been documented by The Trenton Project (www.thetrentonproject.com), which is a collaborative investigation now in its impressive fourth year of documenting Trenton, its people, work, hopes and challenges.
The 2015 documentary segment of The Trenton Project titled “Sanctuaries in the City” includes an inspiring and uplifting portrayal of Father Pozo. To watch him speak about his work and learn about this “enigmatic pastor and his portrayal from the perspective of the children he serves,” watch the segment entitled CHILDREN OF GOD, directed by Natalie Plonk (2016, 6 min.) at: https://vimeo.com/153996451.
Thank you to all who donated, the books were delivered into the perfect hands.
Kim Robinson and Annie Mingle