An Interview with Penny Parker

Tell us a little bit about your current position with Completely Kids and the role Completely KIDS plays in the community. 

I have been the Executive Director of Completely KIDS for 23 years. Our agency plays a critical role in providing after school and family strengthening programs for some of our community’s poorest families. We operate in seven inner city OPS schools, the Completely KIDS building and three homeless shelters.

completly kids

How has A Book of My Own (ABOMO) worked with Completely KIDS in the past?

The donations that we have received from ABOMO have been critical to our reading program by providing resources for our program staff and books for the children to take home. Many of the children do not have books at home so it means a great deal to them. The distribution has been to all of our elementary programs and most recently to one of the our middle school programs.

Do you have any stories you would like to share with respect to a specific kid(s) who received books from ABOMO or the impact ABOMO has had within the organization and the kids you serve?

The kids said it is their favorite present ever and they couldn’t believe they got to keep it! From an agency perspective, the donations have been budget relieving as most of our income comes from grants and contributions.

Do you have any personal recommendations for books we should be purchasing for kids that are really popular or just great books for kids to read? 

Books for Projects:

Eye Wonder: Weather

The Ancient Maya by Jackie Maloy

Jump Into Science: Volcano! by Ellen J. Prager

Jump Into Science: Coral Reefs by Sylvia Earle

101 Animal Records by Melvin & Gilda Berger

Comics/Graphic Novels

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja by Marcus Emerson

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (multiple books in series) by Jeff Kinney

Knights of the Lunch Table (and others in the Dodgeball Chronicles Series) by Frank Cammuso

Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires

The Lightning Thief (graphic novel edition) by Rick Riordan

Penny Parker has been a member of the Junior League since 1983

Connection Contributor - Kate McCoy Jones

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