By Lindsy Serrano
Educator and library student Jessica Fenster-Sparber was one of the ten honorees at the 2008 Maybelline New York Beauty of Education dinner, held at the historic New York Public Library in Manhattan. Ms. Fenster-Sparber is a library coordinator who works with the city’s incarcerated youth as well as the executive director of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, the only nonprofit organization that raises money to fun the building of libraries and literacy programs in New York City’s juvenile detention centers.
The Maybelline New York Beauty of Education award was given to ten educators from across the country that were selected through a nomination process and with the help of the publications People, People en Español, and Essence magazine. The recipients were honored at a dinner hosted by Maybelline ambassador Tomiko Fraser and received at $10,000 grant to support their causes. Information about their causes were featured in People magazine.
Literacy for Incarcerated Teens is an all-volunteer, community-based organization making a difference in the lives of some of NYC’s most vulnerable young people. Ms. Fenster-Sparber joined LIT in 2003 and currently serves as the executive director. LIT is committed to a world in which all children are literate. Our mission is to ensure that all of New York City’s detained youth have access to library materials and library services of the highest quality. We are currently working with Passages Academy, NYCDOE’s school program for incarcerated and detained youth, and its partner NYC’s Department of Juvenile Justice, on an ambitious project to create model libraries inside our city’s juvenile detention centers.
For more information please visit www.literacyforincarceratedteens.org.