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East Rutherford Councilman Participates In Library's Inclusion Program

Councilman Joel Brizzi recently attended an author reading by Eleni Theodorou.
Councilman Joel Brizzi recently attended an author reading by Eleni Theodorou. Photo Credit: Joel Brizzi

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A porcupine helped kids learn about diversity and problem-solving at an author reading at the East Rutherford Memorial Library, on Wednesday, April 9.

"I was very honored to attend a special reading of the new book 'Noko the Knight,' by author Eleni Theodorou," said East Rutherford Councilman Joel Brizzi.

Theodorou, a therapeutic children's author, delivered a special reading of her new book. Based in South Africa, it features Noko, an African crested porcupine. "This internationally acclaimed interactive program fosters positive values through a fun, full sensory experience incorporating essential oils, South African music, coloring, yoga meditation and affirmations," a news release noted.

Theodorou uses whimsical illustrations of animals native to South Africa to tell a simple tale with an overriding theme of instilling a culture of compassion. The story unfolds when Noko -- the crested porcupine hero of the tale -- is told that a sibling is on its way.

Noko has to learn to deal with his mixed emotions, as well as learn how to resolve tensions with his friends. The book also deals with compassion, personal responsibility, forgiveness and adapting to change.

A representative from the Access for All Committee noted that there is also a free companion, downloadable lesson plan for teachers, that offers opportunities to reinforce and extend this learning experience.

"I want to say thank you to the Access for All Committee for all the work they do, I especially wish to thank Sherrill Curtis for coordinating this event as well as many other events for the community," said Brizzi.

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