Taking a giant leap for education

By Polly O’Brien Morrow

The heat outside was oppressive on 20 July, but inside the energy was uplifting. More than 750 gathered to escape the heat and learn something cool at the Discovery Museum & Planetarium in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon.

Thanks to the Pitney Bowes Foundation, “Giant Leap Day” saw the doors of the Discovery Museum & Planetarium open to all free of charge, and all of the children who attended got to choose two Reading Is Fundamental books to take home with them. Thirty PB employee volunteers were joined by more than a dozen family and friends to lead creative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) hands-on activities, including building and launching paper air rockets, creating their own pocket solar system, playing moon hide and seek, creating moon craters and constructing marshmallow landers. Attendees also had a chance to see a moon rock sample, watch the Museum’s Planetarium show, view footage of the Apollo 11 landing and watch other NASA celebrations of the anniversary.

“It was so well organized, the energy / enthusiasm was super high, and from my perspective, the day was a great success. And I left with an increased sense of pride into being a PBer,” said PB volunteer Jeff Winter, Global Vice President, Marketing and Communications – Software & Data Solutions

“To see the joy on all those young faces as they selected their books was a poignant reminder why we do this job. We truly have a literacy crisis in this country and moments in local communities like what you brought to life on Friday, are critical components of the solution. Congratulations and thank you for your leadership in this space! AND – those volunteers! Their energy, authenticity and excitement were unmatched; I’ve done many employee volunteer events in my day and I must say I was incredibly impressed with every single employee and family member onsite to support the event and represent Pitney Bowes! You’ve clearly created a unique corporate culture and we are thrilled to be a small part of it,” said Bryan Klopack, Vice President of Development, Reading is Fundamental.

Everyone had a blast celebrating this important moment in history and giving young children such a meaningful summer enrichment opportunity. Many thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers, and a special shout out to Beulah Afoakwah-Abosi, Associate Manager, Community Engagement, who served as project champion for this inspiring and engaging event

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