The Pajama Program Creates Sweet Dreams

The National English Honors Society promotes comfortable nights and bedtime reads for kids by supporting the nation-wide pajama program.

Rida Ali, Design Editor

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The Pajama Program has helped more than 4 million children in the U.S. since it was founded in 2001 by Genevieve Piturro. The Pajama Program is a non-profit organization that provides children in need, ranging from newborn to 18 years of age, with pajamas and books. Their goal is to bring restful nights and comfort to children with difficult days. Inspired by the lack of pajamas and books at her local shelter, Piturro decided to start the organization to make them feel secure.

Colleen Bianucci, a co-sponsor of Rock Ridge’s National English Honors Society (NEHS), came across Piturro’s organization while scrolling through a blog called “Skim” in 2017. Bianucci conferred with Jennifer Beasley, a co-sponsor, to decide if the program aligned with the goals of NEHS.  “We presented the idea to our officers last year and they just took to it. They really wanted to help support the cause,” said Beasley.

Many organizations, namely Scholastic Corp., a partner of the Pajama Project, support them by providing age-appropriate books with every pajama set donated.  NEHS aimed to raise funds for as many pajama sets as possible, aware that many children go to bed without anyone to read to them, and don’t know the typical nightly routine that most people take for granted. “The growth that your child can reach cognitively is astronomical if you spend 15-20 minutes a day reading,” Bianucci explained.

NEHS members made an effort to promote literacy among students and the community. This program allows them to expose kids to books and encourage reading at a young age. “NEHS is always looking for service projects because that’s the goal of the club:  to figure out how to commit to service with the aspect of literature,” said Beasley.

Hoping to gain more donations and bring awareness to the cause, NEHS organized a movie night on  Jan. 11. Students wore their most comfortable pajamas and enjoyed snacks along with the movie. To help contribute, the English department held a competition among the students. The English class that donated the most items would receive a party from the NEHS.

NEHS Students hope to continue to support this program in the future to foster childhood literacy. Beasley hopes that students learn, “The aspect of working hard for the sake of others.”