Celebrating Great Books Champion B.J. Smith

The memory of B.J. Smith, a lifelong Great Books supporter, was honored with a ceremony at Usher-Collier Heights Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia on August 26. After starting a Junior Great Books group at the former R.L. Hope Elementary School, B.J. Smith and her friend Ruth Read started a Great Books group for adults that met for 45 years at the Buckhead Branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library.


Foundation vice president Mary Kent Sweeton (second left) and other guests gather around a plaque installed at Usher-Collier Heights Elementary School in B.J.’s honor.

When B.J. was 86 years old she was quoted as saying, “At my age, I know how important it is to keep on thinking. It’s important for the kids too.” The ceremony celebrating B.J.’s passion for reading and sharing ideas was attended by Greg Parks, principal of Usher-Collier Heights Elementary School, Mary Kent Sweeton, vice president of the Great Books Foundation, other members of the Great Books Foundation staff, friends, family, and students. Thank you B.J.BJ2

  1. George Adams says:

    I am currently interested in how I might use your Great Books Roundtable for my students in grades 6-8. My student population consist of 40% of boys and girls reading below grade level. I am searching for strategies to combat this trend and groom them to becoming life long readers, how can you assist me in this pursuit?

    1. Sharon Crowley says:

      Thanks for your interest in Great Books Roundtable! We’re confident GBR would be an ideal addition to your classroom & look forward to helping you implement successful strategies to improve your students’ reading levels. You’ll hear from one of our New York educational consultants soon–watch your in-box for an email that ends with @greatbooks.org!

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