SARATOGA SPRINGS — Five local high school students are hard at work providing literary resources to new families in our community.
Ciara Meyer, Mia Hayes, Annabelle Brueggemann, Maddie Cook, and Ava Kuruzovich were only in eighth grade when they started thinking of ways they could give back to the community. After meeting with their principal at Lake Avenue, “Stories for Success” was born. These inspiring students are now juniors at Saratoga Springs High School and are looking to expand their organization.
The goal of Stories for Success is to encourage reading and provide reading resources to new parents. The next step for Stories for Success is to become a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Becoming a registered nonprofit would allow them to host more events and expand to other areas in the Capital Region, like Glens Falls or Albany.
Stories for Success has been working towards their goal of providing widespread access to early literary resources by holding community events and COVID-safe book drop-offs to put together “book bags” that contain two children’s books, library card information, and a reading list courtesy of Northshire for babies born at Saratoga Hospital. Every baby born at Saratoga Hospital so far this year has received one.
“It is important for kids to start reading at a young age. Promoting reading as they grow helps them learn to read and read faster,” said Maddie Cook. “Giving them these resources, even if it’s just two books to read to them when they are newborns to a couple of years old will help them.”
The young founders of Stories for Success say that the staff at Saratoga Hospital has been kind and grateful, and they have been surprised how far their reach is when people approach them at fundraisers to say that their neighbor, friend, or someone they know has received a book bag.
“We want to give a big thank you to the community. Over the past year with everyone’s financial struggles due to COVID, we have still been able to manage around $4,000 in donations, which is incredible and more than we expected people to be able to give,” said Ciara Meyer. “We are just so thankful for everyone who has helped us, whether its organizations or businesses like Northshire, Saratoga Publishing, Saratoga Children’s Theatre, or the generosity of individuals.”