To celebrate National Read a Book Day, First Lady Melania Trump sent children’s books to schools in every state of the U.S.A. She chose one school for each state to receive a package of books. A school librarian in Boston, Massachusetts publicly rejected the books that were sent and Mrs. Trump is now responding to the librarian’s reaction to her gift.
“Mrs. Trump intends to use her platform as first lady to help as many children as she can,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokesperson explains.
“She has demonstrated this in both actions and words since her husband took office, and sending books to schools across the country is but one example….Turning the gesture of sending young school children books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the first lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere,” Grisham said.
Mrs. Trump sent a personal letter with the books to each school. The schools received 10 Dr. Seuss books. In her letter, she explained how important education is for children and shared about her own family’s enjoyment of Dr. Seuss’ books.
“…I wanted to send you a special gift, Trump wrote. “Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You’ll Go is a book my son and I have read over and over again, and one that we want to share with all of you.”
Librarian Liz Phipps Soerio, wrote an editorial for the Horn Book Family Reading blog, stating exactly why she would not accept the First Lady’s books as a gift for children at her school.
Phipps Soerio wrote, “My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science.”
The librarian criticized the choice of sending Dr. Seuss children’s books, explaining that it was a “cliché” choice for the First Lady to make.
Soerio wrote, “As the first lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips.”
The school stated the librarian has been “counseled” on school policies related to political activity. They stated, “the employee was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district.”
Librarian Phipps Soerio, who works at Cambridgeport Elementary School in Boston, MA also included a list of 10 children’s books that she highly recommended to the First Lady. The list had two books that discussed the legalization of illegal aliens.