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Bernadette Soultanis works at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf in the state of New York. In September 2015, Mrs. Soultanis began engaging with Global Playground by following Global Playground’s Facebook page and by messaging Global Playground’s Deputy Executive Director, who attended college with her son. Inspired by Global Playground’s 2016 ‘Let Them Read’ campaign, which raised funds to bring books to and launch libraries in Global Playground project sites in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and the 100,000 Acts of Kindness initiative, Mrs. Soultanis decided to get involved.
It began as an idea. From the ‘Let Them Read’ campaign, Mrs. Soutanis had gathered that books were a need at Global Playground project sites. She decided to collect books for a Global Playground school in need. Mrs. Soultanis knew Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf was planning to clean out its library. She submitted an inquiry and school officials agreed that students and staff would sort through their bounty of books and send an age-appropriate selection to a Global Playground school site. The Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf approved the request and over several months, teachers and students sifted through thousands of books. Ultimately, Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf contributed 40 books to Angelo Llorente Elementary School in the Philippines, which had previously owned around 15 reading books for 179 students from Kindergarten through Grade 6. Many of these books were handmade by teachers and students.
When Mrs. Soultanis was asked to comment for this article, she shared that a second delivery from Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf is in the works.
Heroes don’t always wear capes. Sometimes heroes follow organizations like Global Playground on Facebook and make their own unique mark on the world. Global Playground wholeheartedly thanks Mrs. Soultanis and the administration, staff, and students at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf. The motto of Global Playground’s 100,000 Acts of Kindness campaign is “One act of kindness can make a world of a difference.” The collective action of those at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf made a world of a difference for the students at Angelo Llorente Elementary School in the Philippines.