Briefly Noted

Lew Rinko passed on this spring, but his work lives on, inspiring readers and, apparently, critics as well. Lew’s wife Kay tells us that his book The Unique Childhood of a Hummer was named Runner-Up in the 2016 Best Indie Book Award competition. The book describes Lew’s childhood as an orphan, growing up and studying at Girard College in Philadelphia. He was a devoted Girard “Hummer,” an ad man, longtime Swarthmore resident and onetime owner and publisher of the Swarthmorean.

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Swarthmore College sophomore Vanessa Meng (left) helped welcome Urmi Basu to campus in late November. Meng was an intern this summer with Basu’s organization New Light, in Kolkata, India, a residence and school for children of sex workers in that city. For children born into hopeless circumstances, Basu says her message is “You can create what you want in the world.” Inspired and motivated by her experience with Basu and her model, Meng requested and received a grant from the college to facilitate Basu’s visit to Swarthmore, which involved a screening of Half the Sky, a PBS documentary which focused on New Light, as well as a luncheon and public talk. Beyond sharing Basu’s messages and example among the Swarthmore community, Meng says she will build upon her own experiences by encouraging and guiding students who want to do direct service work. “It can be hard work, and difficult emotionally at first. But it was more difficult to come back at the end of my fellowship.”

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Got milk? Mrs. Gaur’s second grade class at Wallingford Elementary School certainly does. They recently conducted the 11th annual Milk and Cookies Stand during snack time on parent-teacher conference days at WES in November. Teachers donated milk, and many students’ families baked and donated cookies. With a price of $1 for the combo, Mrs. Gaur’s herd raised an astonishing total of $1,754, all of which they will send to a primary school in Kenya, where the funds will purchase books and supplies. From left to right: teacher Sue Gaur and teacher assistant Anne Mulhern stand behind students (in the top row) Keegan G., Brody D., Van J., Ella H., Will L., Isabel L., Maxine M., Makaih G., Anna K., Gabe B., Carly T., Ryan S., Abhi K., Caroline R., and (in the bottom row) Amelie G., Harry P., Ethan L, Leah M., Paisley M., Scarlett M., Jaelen K., Zac C.  Kailey S. was absent.

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