Alec Baldwin Joins 'Brooke's Books' Advisory Committee for the Brooke Jackman Foundation

Brooke Jackman Foundation Panel Includes Twila Liggett, Founder of Reading Rainbow, Gay Su Pinnell, Literacy Expert/Author, Artist and Illustrator Javaka Steptoe, and Children's Author Stephanie Calmenson

Jun 29, 2010, 09:00 ET from Brooke Jackman Foundation

NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Alec Baldwin, award-winning actor, author, and now a children's literacy advocate, joins the Brooke Jackman Foundation in creating the first Brooke's Books Advisory Committee to select age-appropriate books for the thousands of underprivileged children served by the Foundation.

Among the renowned panel of experts comprising the committee are Dr. Twila Liggett, founder of the beloved series, Reading Rainbow; Dr. Gay Su Pinnell, well known literacy expert and author; beloved children's author, Stephanie Calmenson; artist, illustrator and award-winning children's author Javaka Steptoe; and bestselling children's author/illustrator, Katie Davis.  Foundation Executive Director, Erin Jackman - Brooke's sister and former elementary school teacher - chairs the committee.

The Brooke Jackman Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on literacy among at-risk children throughout New York.  Founded in October 2001 in response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack that claimed the life of Brooke Jackman, age 23, the foundation has established libraries and literacy programs for underprivileged children, including those who have been victims of domestic violence and crime. Every year, the foundation also donates over 10,000 books to kids in need; to date, nearly 100,000 books and 10,000 backpacks have been distributed to needy children and their families.

The Brooke's Books Advisory Committee will assist in selecting the most appropriate books, with the greatest appeal, for the thousands of children that the Foundation reaches each year.  The committee will ultimately create a series of topical Top Ten lists - beginning with "Brooke's Best Books for City Kids" - of ideal, engaging reads that are relevant to the children served by the Foundation.

About the Committee:

Alec Baldwin is an award-winning actor who has appeared in more than 40 films, including Working Girl, The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross and an Oscar nominated performance in The Cooler.  He currently stars in the hit television show, 30 Rock, for which he has won two Emmys.  Like the Jackman family, Baldwin is a Long Island native and has been a friend to the Foundation for several years. 

Dr. Twila C. Liggett is the Founder of the outstanding, Emmy Award-winning PBS Children's TV series, Reading Rainbow which premiered on PBS in 1983.  As an educator and author, Dr. Liggett has published widely on issues ranging from literacy to human potential. Dr. Liggett is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Marymount Manhattan College and is working on a new book for parents, tentatively titled "Just Read Anything - How to Raise Intelligent, Literate Kids."

Dr. Gay Su Pinnell is a professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at the Ohio State University. She has extensive experience in classroom teaching and field-based research, and has developed and implemented comprehensive approaches to literacy education. She is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame and has received many awards, including the International Reading Association's Albert J. Harris Award for research in reading, the Ohio Governor's Award for education, and the Charles A. Dana Foundation Award, given for pioneering contributions in the fields of health and education. She is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.

Stephanie Calmenson is the author of many highly acclaimed books for children, including Dinner at the Panda Palace; The Principal's New Clothes; Rosie, A Visiting Dog's Story; and May I Pet Your Dog?.  Before turning to writing, she was an early childhood teacher, a children's book editor at Doubleday, and Editorial Director of Parents Magazine Press.

Javaka Steptoe, an artist, designer, and illustrator, is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for his debut children's book, In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers and his collage creations continue to win fans - both children and adults - with their vitality, playful energy, and strength. As both an artist and educator, he challenges traditional notions of Black art, emphasizing the richness of our collective past through his use of family as a recurring theme and centerpiece. 

Katie Davis is the bestselling author/illustrator of Who Hops, Kindergarten Rocks, and the upcoming Little Chicken's Big Day, among others.  She volunteers her time teaching inmates writing for children at a maximum security prison and hosts an internet radio show which brings authors, illustrators, editors and educators 'on air' to talk about great books for children.

Erin Jackman has a Master's degree in early childhood education and was a teacher and literacy expert at PS 111 in New York City for seven years.  In October, 2001, Erin and her family created the Brooke Jackman Foundation in memory of her sister, Brooke, who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11.  She has been a Trustee and Board Member since, and has held the position of Executive Director of the Foundation since 2006.

Photos available upon request

SOURCE Brooke Jackman Foundation