Ms. McLeod’s Library Club encourages a future generation’s love of books


Claire Moore '22

Students honor the memory of Ms. Marian McLeod through upholding her passion for encouraging children to read.

Commemorating the legacy of a beloved former Lower and Middle School Librarian, Ms. McLeod’s Library Club works to foster a love of reading among children.  The club’s members include juniors Joi Almonacy, Mimi Greco, Gabby Lauria, Megan Maloney, and Elisa Taylor as well as freshmen Giada Bosacco, Avery Kim, Claire Maher, Frankie Marangi, Anna Oliver, and Dayanara Siddiqui.  As co-heads, Mimi and Joi plan to create a website filled with videos of the group’s members reading various children’s books aloud. They hope to engage youngsters, turning around a trend away from reading and inspiring lifelong learning.

This graph showcases the upward trend of low interest in reading among children of all ages.  Courtesy of

Ms. Marian McLeod dedicated her life as a librarian and educator to encourage a lifelong passion for reading from an early age.  While at Sacred Heart Greenwich, she connected with a myriad of Lower and Middle students, inspiring all with her infectious appreciation for reading.  In addition to her work with the Sacred Heart community, Ms. McLeod served as Darien Library’s Outreach and Publicity Coordinator, where she organized book talks with local schools to get children excited about reading.  Ms. McLeod passed away September 21, 2019.  

Named in her honor, Ms. McLeod’s Library Club’s main initiative is to provide children with a fun and accessible way to enjoy books.  Following an increase in digital entertainment opportunities, research shows a 12 percent decline in the number of children reading daily as of 2013, according to  Younger kids often feel less inclined to read as they experience a stronger pull from television and video games.  An early introduction to books by older family members is another key factor in a child’s interest in reading, according to  Many parents today lack ample time to read to their children because of busy work schedules or alternate responsibilities, leaving kids to rely on technology for entertainment. 

Mimi noticed a similar trend in her younger brother.  He often avoided his school reading assignments and rarely picked up a book on his own.  After listening to his favorite stories, however, he began to develop an affinity for reading as opposed to television.  The positive impact of reading on her brother was one of Mimi’s primary motivations to begin Ms. McLeod’s Library Club.        

“I really wanted to encourage more kids to read and reach beyond my household to inspire a love of books,” Mimi said.  “As we get older, reading often feels more like a chore than an enjoyable pastime, which I hope to change.  Our videos are a fun way to make reading more attractive to kids and will hopefully reach a broad audience.  It is my goal to help children, especially those in underprivileged communities, have access to reading and success in their future academics.”

An absence of early childhood reading often has lifelong implications including academic achievement gaps, disciplinary issues, and high school dropout rates, according to  Children who are not at grade-level literacy tend to struggle in every class because schools teach over 85 percent of their curriculum with reading.  This leads to not only academic struggles but also emotional and social obstacles for young students. 

As an avid reader herself, Avery joined Ms. McLeod’s Library Club because she wished to instill a similar passion for books in younger students.  

“My love of reading is something I now benefit from as well as enjoy,” Avery said.  “It has made me a more curious student, allows me to explore things that interest me without it seeming like more homework, and gives me perspective in important discussions.  I support the club’s mission of helping other children develop an interest in reading in hopes that a love of reading will benefit them as much as it has benefitted me.” 

Mimi Greco ’22 reads aloud to her younger brother Santino.  Courtesy of Mrs. Dianne Greco

Reading positively impacts the growing brains of children, according to  Through reading regularly, kids learn important language and literacy skills early in life.  This leads to improved school performance due to stronger comprehension and vocabulary development.  Independent reading also helps children understand complex concepts and advances social and writing abilities.  

Elisa recognizes the importance of reading in relation to education, inspiring her to promote books in an entertaining way through her involvement with the club.  

“With the surplus of technology and media that can often distract children (and us highschoolers, too) in today’s world, I think it’s important to instill good reading habits in children from a young age so that they can carry those habits with them later in life,” Elisa said.  “Reading has countless benefits; for example, it strengthens children’s vocabulary and concentration, sparks curiosity and imagination, and develops their ability to communicate.  Thus, it’s critical that children do not miss out on developing these skills while their brains are maturing.”

These long-term advantages of reading align with Ms. McLeod’s Library Club’s mission to create a lasting impression on the community.  The group will utilize digital media to provide an opportunity for children from different areas and age groups to become familiar with books.  The members of the club are currently filming and editing videos of themselves reading different children’s books.  Mimi is working on building the website as a collaborative platform where she will upload the members’ videos.  In the future, the club may host public book readings at local libraries and post recordings on the website, but for now, the proceedings are solely virtual.

“My main hope with this website is to continue honoring the memory of Ms. McLeod by encouraging a love of reading in children the same way she did for me and so many others,” Mimi said.  “The club’s main goal is to make our videos accessible for as long as possible so we can inspire kids even years after we all graduate.”

Featured Image by Claire Moore ’22