• Molly Murphy

Giving the Gift of Imagination

Updated: Oct 13



One of our favorite stories of creativity, connection, and generosity from the summer takes us on a journey across the country – from a book-loving family in San Francisco to a dream-filled independent bookstore in Georgia to our brilliant students living in New York City.

When Jodi and Dave discovered photos from The Story Shop, a place full of “Reading, Imagination, & Celebration”, it immediately brought back memories of family time spent with their children, reading stories out loud together. The Story Shop’s inspiring interior – filled with fun touches like a secret escape to the reading room through a Narnia wardrobe and a “curiouser and curiouser” Cheshire Cat chair – reminded them of a magical place they would have taken their children to explore and use their imaginations. They wanted to share a bit of that magic with other families.

That’s when Jodi reached out to the Mission Society and Lisa Dibble at The Story Shop to facilitate a unique surprise – the sending of brand new books to 5th grade graduates of our Power Academy program.


One phone call and a few exchanged emails ignited a community effort, with Mission educators curating a book selection reflective of our students, and The Story Shop staff coordinating and designing the one-of-a-kind packages. Each student was thrilled to receive a special box filled with five new books to read, cherish, and call their own.



The gift of reading is extremely meaningful for the young people who come through our doors. Throughout all of our programs, we understand that literacy skills are a fundamental component of a student’s success. Reading fluency leads to better communication with peers and parents, further growth and development, and deep and critical engagement with the world. When students have access to more books in their personal libraries, it has immeasurable value, building their enthusiasm for reading for years to come.

We are incredibly grateful to Jodi and Dave, Lisa Dibble and the entire staff at The Story Shop, and Mission staff members Lauren Fraulo, Llina Garcia, and Carmen Rosario, for making our students' summer reading experience memorable. We hope you take a moment to visit and support The Story Shop, take a look at some of Mission’s favorite reads from over the summer, and share the gift of imagination with your community!



All photos courtesy of The Story Shop.

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Since 1812

646 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037

Phone: 212.674.3500  

Fax: 212.979.5764

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