Reaching Out to the Community in Memory of a Beloved Library Staff Member

VBPL brings children’s books, activities and a StoryWalk to the residents of Friendship Village

Brenda Beverly displaying the contents of a picture bookDuring spring break for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, staff from Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) visited children and families in the Friendship Village Housing Community. Library staff set up a StoryWalk path featuring the book "I Promise" by LeBron James and gave out 54 activity kits to the children during the two-day event.

The activity kits honor the memory of VBPL staff member Brenda Beverly (pictured, at left), who worked at the Pungo-Blackwater Library for 16 years. Brenda was an avid reader and loved reading to children. Her family and friends wanted that legacy to live on, creating the Brenda Beverly Memorial Fund through the Virginia Beach Library Foundation.

The kits were designed for specific ages and reading levels, from babies through teens, and included a book to keep and other literacy-based activities; for example, a design-your-own comic book journal, nature scavenger hunt, rhymes, songs, and a hopscotch game tied to the book, "Turtle Splash." Parents and caregivers were also given an instruction sheet and tips for engaging their children in reading. "We are thrilled with the turnout at Friendship Village and so pleased to see the children engaged and enjoying the reading activities. "Thank you for creating the activity kits and honoring Brenda's accomplishments and memory," said Deborah Tatum-Johnson, Brenda Beverly's sister.

VBPL is planning additional outreach programming in the Friendship Village Housing Community and throughout the city using the generous donations to the Brenda Beverly Memorial Fund. 

Families reading a page of the Story Walk at Friendship Village
A child reading a page of the Story Walk at Friendship Village
A VBPL staff member does side walk chalk art with a child
VBPL staff coordinate crafts and activities with a group of children

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