We recently visited New Orleans on September 27 to mark the day of Jamie's passing. While there, we visited the Alvar Public Library in the upper Ninth Ward. This is where Jamie took out books, used the WiFi, and volunteered helping children with their homework. Jamie showed Janine the library the day before he passed, and therefore we feel that this is a special place where he should be honored. At the library there is a corner in the children's section that honors Jamie. Recently, we have used private funds to purchase audio-visual equipment, books, necessary furniture, and snacks for the children that visit the library. When Janine initially visited the library she did not go inside, so this was the first opportunity for her, family, and friends to see the work that has been done there. The head librarian Desha discussed with us future programs that would be really helpful to the library. They include a program with the Audubon Institute which manages the New Orleans zoo and aquarium and offers many outreach opportunities. One program in particular involves bringing creatures from the swamp to the library, and this is something we feel Jamie would have really enjoyed.
Also, we are going to participate in a program called Garden To Table in which the children will help build a raised bed and plant vegetables according to the specific season. We are sure they will have fun harvesting the vegetables and enjoy the "fruits" of their labor. The library has no need for extra books at the moment, however they would appreciate it if we could contribute each month to their Head Start program, in which children are given a book to take back home with them. Currently, they give out 160 books each month to the children of the community. This is similar to the CLiF program in Vermont and New Hampshire that we are also helping to fund.