Monday, February 28, 2011

Second Sundays Are Special Days at Words Book Store in Maplewood

Second Sundays Are Special Days at Words

Bookstore devotes days to kids with special needs.
2 of 16
Mom enjoys the work in progress.  Credit Bob Krasner


Jonah and Ellen Zimiles, owners of Words, give a heartfelt welcome.
Mom enjoys the work in progress.
He's not quite ready to join in, but mom doesn't mind.
Industrious hands at work.
Paul McArthur enjoys his volunteer time with the kids.
The parents lend a hand.
Yep, art is fun.
It's a collaborative effort.
A happy camper.
It's a busy scene.
Artist at work.
This one, we presume, is for mom.
Geralynn provides tech support.
The advantage of having an event in a bookstore - you can always take a book break.
Dad's ready to help, but he's got it on his own.
The refrigerator awaits !
One of the many attributes that makes Words Bookstore in Maplewood stand out from other bookstores is its dedication to those with developmental disabilities. The store has been host to many events focused on autism and other developmental challenges, has been the site of training for local special needs students, and is known as a welcoming shopping venue for all.
Recently, owners Jonah and Ellen Zimiles added the "Second Sundays" program to the mix. The purpose, according to Ellen Zimiles, is to "provide a safe environment for the kids to experience many fun and different activities." Once a month, children with special needs and their families are invited, free of charge, to participate in a session involving a creative endeavor — music, art, cooking, acting and more. It is an ambitious program that exists because of the generous contributions of time and energy from various community members.
Geralyn Robinson of  Geralyn's Art Studio donated her time on Sunday, February 13. Robinson has played host to children with autism in her regular classes, but this was her first time doing a session completely comprised of children with special needs. She planned for the kids to work with heart images because "there should be more love in this world."
As the children got down to work with paints and brushes, Erika from Millburn said that her seven year old was "loving it!" She added, "This event is very unique and I'm very grateful for it." Marian, also from Millburn, brought her four year old: "He enjoyed being in a space where he could express himself in his own unique way."
Jonah Zimiles, the parent of son with autism, summed up the afternoon simply as "great."
"The kids and parents had a great time and it was very nice of Geralyn to volunteer her time," said Zimiles.
The series began with music with Kelly Heinze in January, and continues with "Acting With Emily" on March 13, cooking with Gabrielle Kaplan-Meyer on April 10, and a singing preformance with Miriam Rosenberg on May 15. Karate is also planned for June 12.

No comments:

Post a Comment