Thursday, July 3, 2014

First Lady Mary Pat Christie recognizes Abby Daly, Founder & Executive Director of Bridge of Books, as a New Jersey Hero live @ The Jersey Explorer Children's Museum

The Jersey Explorer Children's Museum in conjunction with NJ Youth Corps were honored to host NJ First Lady Mary Pat Christie in her recognition of Bridge of Books founder and executive director Abby Daly as an official recipient of the "NJ Heroes" award. Mary Pat Christie, wife of NJ Governor Chris Christie, started the NJ Heroes Program to "recognize, celebrate, and promote the Heroes of New Jersey who inspire fellow New Jerseyans to give back to their community."

Here is the First Lady's official statement on the wonderful acknowledgment of Abby Daly:

Today I took a trip to the Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum in East Orange to honor Abby Daly as my 4th NJ Hero of 2014.  Abby’s non-profit foundation, Bridge of Books, provides an ongoing source of books to underprivileged and at-risk children throughout New Jersey in order to support literacy skills and to encourage a love of reading.  The organization’s name comes from the belief that a book, like a bridge, can take a child to new places.  Abby, who has always been involved in community service, saw an overwhelming need for books in many areas of our state.  As something many of us take for granted, she wanted to find a way to be able to provide for those children who may not even own a single book.  Through donations and book drives, Bridge of Books has been able to facilitate the distribution of over 425,000 books since its launch in 2003.  Bridge of Books also partners with the New Jersey Youth Corps, who helps with the distribution of the books.  Today, the Youth Corps set up a “Summer Book Blast Book Fair” for the children of East Orange inside the museum, as well as a tour where they were able to explore the different interactive exhibits.  The children were ecstatic to have such a great day planned for them!  Bridge of Books brought over 2,400 books for these children to choose from, take home, and call their own.  The looks on the children’s faces as they were holding onto their brand new books was priceless.  It was great to be at the Children’s Museum today and meet so many inspiring people involved with the Bridge of Books Foundation.  Abby presented me with a beautiful frame that read “Books have the Power to Change Lives” – a philosophy that I find to be so important and true.  Abby truly demonstrates what it means to be a New Jersey Hero. 


The Jersey Explorer Children's Museum was elated to have Mary Pat Christie in our presence and we are so proud of Abby Daly and her continued commitment to literacy. Every guest that visits the JECM, can take home free books due to our longtime partnership with the Bridge of Books Foundation. We truly appreciate them as do the families and students who frequent our museum.