We celebrated our annual Between the Lines event on Thursday, May 2nd, welcoming over 200 guests in support of children’s literacy. The event was held at the Microsoft N.E.R.D. Center, overlooking the beautiful Boston skyline.
The evening came at an exciting time for the organization—the launch of their new READ to Succeed initiative. This new strategic focus will shift GI’s programs to provide a strong literacy foundation for students in the earliest grades. To honor those who helped lift the organization to where it is today, the event recognized long-time board members Elizabeth Blodgett-Smith, Tim Smith, and Samantha Levine, whose individual and collective efforts made the organization and its mission stronger.
The evening was a great success, with over 95% of proceeds going directly to support GI’s early childhood literacy interventions, advancing the work of Read to Succeed.
Its success can be attributed to the exciting and unique atmosphere that marked the evening. Live jazz music played in the background while guests marveled at the original art installations on display. Childhood nostalgia emanated throughout the room, complete with appearances by The Cat in the Hat and The Very Hungry Caterpillar decorations, pinwheel centerpieces, and an eye-catching Giving Tree adding to the child-themed décor.
The speakers and performers also churned up enthusiasm for supporting the organization and its notable cause. A first-grade class from the Trotter elementary school charmed the crowd by startingoff the evening’s program with two songs. Following, a powerful testimony was given by Camille and her daughter Zara on how, with the help from a GI literacy volunteer, Zara went from a withdrawn non-reader to being the top in her class.
The honorees spoke of the evolving nature of the organization and how it has always thrived through its strong leaders, like current Executive Director, Mary Gunn. Mary herself offered some impassioned words reminding everyone of the reality of the literacy crisis: “Young children from low-income communities…start their first day of school 60% behind their peers from more affluent communities…kindergarten and first grade teachers can’t bring these kids up to grade level without help.”
The compelling words, lively performances, and overall dynamic experience united supporters in making Between the Lines a memorable evening and a step forward for children’s literacy in Boston.