Summer Reading Outreach: Who’s Who on Our Team

By Becky F. RSS Wed, July 27, 2016

The Free Library of Philadelphia Summer Reading team has eleven Outreach Specialists this year assigned to different neighborhoods across the city. With the goal of promoting literacy while school is out of session, the Outreach Specialists travel around Philly visiting day care centers, camps, and other summer programs so they can play games and read with kids of all ages. Some people on our team have been helping out for over a decade, while others are experiencing the joys and rewards of Summer Reading with the Free Library for the first time this summer.

We asked our Specialists to share some fun facts about themselves. Learn more about which neighborhoods they serve, how long they’ve been with the FLP, what their favorite things are about working with Philadelphia kids, and which books they recommend for readers of all ages!      

Robert Backus, Southwest Philadelphia
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 11
Favorite childhood book: The Curious George series by Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey

Lisa Bautista-Sellers, West Philadelphia
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 5
Favorite thing about the job: "The read-aloud for the little ones (under 5) and sharing info with older pre-teens and teens!"

Tyneka Bookard, North Philadelphia
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 2
Current favorite book: I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont

Rachel George, Frankford / Kensington / Bridesburg / Port Richmond
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 1
Favorite thing about the job: "I love hearing all the things the kids already know about the library and the look on their faces when we're about to play a game."

Monique Gray, Oak Lane / Logan / Olney
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 1
Current favorite books: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, and Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell

Alana Lee, Roxborough / Manayunk / East Falls
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 15
Favorite thing about the job: "The fact that I can spread my love for reading and literacy with kids and also being able to read to some of the students I have taught in the past…"

Kelsey Salvesen, Center City
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 1             
Favorite thing about the job: "I love seeing kids get excited by reading; the preschoolers are my favorite because they are so enthusiastic and love the chance to practice their colors, numbers, shapes, etc. alongside the actual storyline.”

Emily Serna, Far Northeast
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 1                               
Current favorite books: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton and NW by Zadie Smith

Michael Shackelford-Taylor II, Mid Northeast   
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 1   
Favorite childhood book: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Bailey Socha, South Philly
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 1         
Favorite thing about the job: "Meeting new people and learning about the city – it changes so much from block to block!"

Rich Torrance, Northwest Philadelphia
Summers as an Outreach Specialist: 2 
Current favorite books: RAMA II by Arthur C. Clarke, Ada’s Algorithm by James Essinger, and Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown


Want to bring the kinds of literacy-focused activities that the Outreach Specialists lead into your summer camp or program? Consult our Literacy Infusion Guide for inspiration!


Leave this field empty

Add a Comment to Summer Reading Outreach: Who’s Who on Our Team

Your email is kept private and will not be shown publicly
I am looking for a Library outreach person for our family festival. Where do I go?
Rachel McGonigle - CORA Services Fox Chase Philadelphia 19111
Thursday, February 16, 2017