How long have you lived in the Capital District?
I was born and raised in Queensbury, NY. This is where my extended family is. It’s nice to be close to them!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a teacher certification in the areas of Elementary Ed K – Grade 6, Special Education K – Grade 12 and Social Studies Grade 7- Grade 12. I went to SUNY Albany and received my master degree as a Literacy Specialist for kids birth-Grade 12. After 20 years of teaching 7th grade special education, I am now teaching 1st and 2nd grade special education (still in the South Glens Falls School District). I have 2 living children – my daughter, Schuyler, is 14 and my son, Liam is 10.
What is your favorite place to take your kids in the Capital District?
My kids are both really into theater. When they are not actually singing, acting, dancing in a production, they love to go to the theater. We love the Charles Wood Theater and Proctor’s Theatre.
Could you tell me a little bit about Project: Cameron’s Story?
In between my career as a teacher and being a mom, I am also the founder and president of Project: Cameron’s Story a local not for profit children’s charity. I started Project: Cameron’s Story in November 2009. I created this charity in honor of my middle son who was born 16 weeks premature in February of 2009 and then passed away a little over 8 months later. When Cameron was born so severely premature, I was unable to touch him for the first few days of his life. Due to the fact that he was on a special ventilator, I was not able to hold him for the first five and half weeks. I desperately needed and wanted to find a way to bond with him. Reading books to him provided that opportunity. Together, we forged an amazing bond.
What is the mission of Project: Cameron’s Story?
Project: Cameron’s Story is a 501c3 not for profit children’s charity that gives brand new books to babies in the NICU at 15 of the largest hospitals across New York State so when a baby is born too soon or too sick and their parents can’t hold them or touch them, families can begin the bonding process with their babies by reading to them.
How many books have you collected over the years?
We collected over 25,000 brand new books last year. Over the past 13 years, we have delivered over 175,000 books to the 15 hospitals across New York State that we are partnered with.
How can someone donate a book?
To donate a book you can simply go to www.projectcameronsstory.org. Click on the tab that says, “How Can You Help?” The process is easy!
Do you accept used books?
No. Due to the fact that the books are going to the NICU (a sterile environment) all books must be absolutely brand new with as little handling as possible.
Can someone donate any children’s book or are there specific books you are looking for?
We have a list of some books on our website but the choices are really endless. We like to say that “story picture books” are best. These are books with lots of words so that the parents can have more bonding time with their baby. But, books that also have pictures are great too so that when the baby goes home and gets older/stronger the book can grow with them. The books that would not be appropriate are small books that have only one or two words on a page. The purpose of the reading is for the baby to get to hear their mom or dad’s voice.