PJ Our Way, the newest chapter of PJ Library for kids ages 9-11, is now available in the heart of NJ’s Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties. PJ Our Way brings Jewish books into older children’s lives as effectively as PJ Library has done with younger children.
Building on the success of PJ Library, which gives the gift of Jewish children’s books each month to more than 1,700 children across Monmouth and Middlesex counties, PJ Our Way allows tweens to select one of four books every month, giving them more choice on their journey toward being life-long readers while introducing them to Jewish ideas.
"The Jewish Federation is delighted to support the launch of PJ Our Way in the local community," said Sarah Portilla, Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey. “It is an important part of our mission to connect young families with Jewish life and inspire young people to embrace their Jewish identity.”
As part of its plan to bring PJ Our Way to Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties, the Federation also extended the age range for PJ Library (from the previous range of 6 mos. – 7 yrs.) to 6 mos. to 8 yrs.
“The Federation now helps bring Jewish ideas into the homes of children right through to Bar or Bat Mitzvah age,” Portilla added.
“We believe these stories and their values help shape young people in their understanding of being Jewish, and it’s our hope that PJ Our Way will ultimately build a strong community of young Jewish people,” said Harold Grinspoon, Founder of PJ Library and PJ Our Way.
As part of the program, PJ Our Way participants can create book trailers, videos, quizzes, author interviews, and other media to communicate with peers about the books. The PJ Our Way website www.pjourway.org provides these new avenues for discussion.
“We’ve thought a great deal about how to engage older readers by giving them more say in what they read and then giving them creative platforms to talk to their peers about the books,” said PJ Our Way Director Catriella Freedman.
One way in which PJ Our Way encourages kids to be creative is through participation in the national Design Team. Design Team members have early access to books, create videos and reviews, interview authors, participate in workshops, and lead the conversation among their peers. PJ Our Way subscribers can apply to be a part of the national Design Team each October.
The PJ Our Way program is supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation based in Agawam, Massachusetts. Sign-up at www.pjourway.org.