Bridging the Gaps

A Book A Day interns assisted with creating a catalog of children’s books for schools in the West Philadelphia area. The interns also helped execute a heart-healthy recipe event for Penn Dental, create an oral health infographic for Puentes de Salud, and complete surveys for the book giveaway program with A Book A Day.

Meet the Interns

Aiysha Scott, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

I was thrilled to be paired with “A Book a Day” in the Bridging the Gaps Program. I struggled to read when I was a child and for a while, I wouldn’t voluntarily pick up a book. But there was a book when I was about 12 years old that completely changed my mind. After that book, I visited the library every few weeks. By the time I finished high school, there were full shelves of the library where I had read almost every book.


Jiayue (Joy) Qiu, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

I’m so excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with A Book A Day through the Bridging the Gaps program this summer. Reading through A Book A Day’s collection of books brought me back to childhood summers spent reading in the bookstores. Therefore, when I was making this curation of books, I picked the stories that resonate with me, pictures that stunned me, and books that made me wish I was given to read when I was a child.

Ice Cave

Popsicle | Shaved Ice | Philadelphia

In the summer of 2021, our Bridging the Gap interns selected books from Bindlestiff bookstore to donate to the Ice Cave, a local shaved ice spot. The books served as a thank you for Ice Cave’s commitment to the community and a way to allow children to explore new books while waiting for a delicious treat. The interns chose books which they felt reflected the diversity of the community in support of A Book a Day’s mission. We are so happy to have been able to make this connection between local West Philadelphia shops and A Book a Day. 

I went to Drexel undergrad and while I was in the Philly area, I realized there were no shaved ice places. In Taiwan, they are everywhere and we felt Philly needed some. When we open, we want to make a play area with children’s books and toys. We can’t wait to add the books “A Book a Day” donated to our collection. We hope to have a coupon card for kids who have read 10 books to get a free popsicle.

Po, Ice Cave Owner

Bindlestiff Books

“We construct the community, and the community constructs us”

Jon, Bindlestiff Books Owner

The Selection

Aiysha Scott

I remember standing in Bindlestiff, looking at their shelves for the first time and saying “I wish I were given these books to read when I was a kid”. So every book I picked are the ones that I really liked and enjoyed reading.  The Invisible Boy is a heart-warming and captivating story to read. It teaches kindness and self-worth. Lala’s words speaks for every Asian girl and resonates with me. The Truly Brave Princesses unlike any Disney movie praises women that we see in everyday life. I loved how it encourages people to shine just the way they are and embrace their extraordinary normalness. On the Day You Were Born struck me in the way that it connects oneself with the universe and the much greater world that we live in.

Joy Qiu

Reflection

“Working with A Book a Day has taught me so much about what it means to give back to the community.  I am grateful to have been able to assist the organization in sharing the gift of reading with schools in the West Philadelphia area. The donation of books provides children with the opportunity to celebrate diverse cultures as well as encourages them to be excited about learning. From my time with Penn Dental, I was also able to learn about how economic disadvantages affect oral health and nutrition. As a healthcare provider, I hope to carry with me the understanding of unique backgrounds which I have gained from my Bridging the Gaps experience”

– Aiysha Scott, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Working with A Book a Day and the Penn Dental community sites definitely drew me closer to the west Philadelphia and greater Philadelphia community. The Wednesday workshops and guest lectures keep reminding me imperfections exist in life and around us. BTG inspires me to expand my curiosity and pursuit of knowledge outside of dentistry to think about many important questions. It is indeed a reflective and rewarding summer

-Joy Qiu, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine