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Unabashed bookworms

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I suspect that readers of community newspapers like The River Reporter tend to be devotees of the written word, especially those who purchase subscriptions and enjoy the experience of ink on paper. (Thank you!) I would not be surprised to learn that many would also consider themselves to be bookworms—folks characterized by a deep devotion to books and to reading.

In my role as executive director of SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support), I recently had the pleasure of celebrating the volunteer work of a young woman who would unabashedly admit to being a bookworm—in the very best sense of the word. Not the larva of the wood-boring beetle that dines on the paper and glue to be found in books, but someone who believes that books are to be enjoyed and passed along for others to enjoy.

Eight years ago, Jenna Wayne Mauder acted on her vision to create a free book swap event that was celebrated recently with an environmental award by the Northeast PA Environmental Partners. The award recognizes Jenna and a host of dedicated volunteers for exemplifying how partnerships work together to get big jobs completed for the benefit of the environment and the community.

As a naturalist and the founder of NaturED, Jenna would also appreciate the small worm-like insects that tunnel through pages without regard for the wisdom printed upon them. NaturED provides nature education ranging from field studies to art projects to foster a stronger relationship with the natural world (see www.facebook.com/livingthenaturedlife).

Jenna also serves on the board at SEEDS, which sponsors the book swap and provides volunteers to help it succeed. This year’s book swap is slated for Saturday, November 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Park Street Complex in Honesdale, PA. The rules are simple—take as many free books as you’d like.

The event highlights America Recycles Day and supports local and global literacy. Last year, 20,000 books were donated—a bookworm’s dream! Leftover books are donated to Better World Books for even broader distribution. Visit www.seed sgroup.net/free-book-swap-nov-9th or www.bit.ly/SEEDSbookswap for details about dates and times for dropping off donated books and more.

SEEDS is also set to launch a new community reading program—SEEDS Reads—which will feature volunteers reading to a variety of audiences in settings ranging from libraries to senior centers. A new book club and some Little Free Libraries will round out the program. Sign up for SEEDS informative e-newsletter www.seedsgroup.net to stay informed.

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