In Loving Memory of Spinny

We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Spinny, a patient listener in our classrooms since 2005. Spinny will be dearly missed by all of us at SitStayRead, as well as the thousands of students he has helped as one of our longest serving Certified Reading Assistance dogs. Spinny and his owner Sandy had a special knack for helping reluctant readers come out of their shell. Students loved reading to Spinny, were amazed at his incredible talent for counting, and wrote many stories about him over the years. We love you, Spinny!

In Loving Memory of Cami Barletta

Cami graduated from Loyola as an English major and hardly went anywhere without a good book in her hand. Her ability to pick up a book and be done with it at lightning speeds was frustrating for the rest of the world. She loved to read, and I’m sure would love to help spread her joy of reading to others. Cami adored fuzzy little critters of all kinds and despite her having 13 cats at one time when she was younger, is totally a dog person ;).

In Loving Memory of Laverne



Here with us from the start, Laverne has been a favorite among our kids for nearly 12 (!!!) years. A stately, black Standard Poodle, Laverne had a knack for putting everyone at ease while they read to her. She was the star of many original stories and drawings. Our kids especially loved Laverne’s signature trick of knocking a book over when her mom Jenifer would stand it up in front of her! Laverne was a beautiful dog inside and out who helped so many children become readers, and while she will be sorely missed, her kind spirit lives on. Rest in peace, Laverne. (Sponsored by MaryEllen Schneider)

In Loving Memory of Terry Hamburg

Terry Hamburg

Terry Hamburg

Contributors:  Raymond “Mickey” Kowalsky, Barbara Weinstein, Rebecca Smith, Kate Lloyd, Roberto Puig & Gregory Brown, Jim Langerman & Arlene Patrasso, Marla Drysdale-Mark, Jeffery & Anna Assenmacher, Janet Kaplan, Michelle Rapaport, The Finkel Guon Family, Sanford & Melva Klein, Helen Coleman, Mark & Mary Therese Fazzini, Thomas & Phyllis Brown, Lawrence Horwitz, Kim Dickerson, Terri Lewin, Susan Roth, Bruce & Ruth Randall, Dan & Suzanne Roth and Family, Leanne Neurauter

In Memory of Linda Ava Pollack Mercer, MD

Dr. Linda

Dr. Linda

Linda Ava Pollack Mercer was born April 1947 in Jersey City, NJ. She received her BS in biology at New York University and started Rutgers Medical School at the very young age of 20 years old, obtaining her MMS.  Linda graduated MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, completed internship at LAC+USC Medical Center in California, and residency at Columbia Presbyterian Babies Hospital.  She later moved to Chicago to work at Children’s Memorial Hospital as the director of the inpatient child psychiatric unit, and then owned her own practice, A Therapeutic Alliance, in Skokie.  Linda retired to Crystal Lake, IL to spend time with her family. She was active in college with volunteer work for the War on Poverty, and continued her passion and activism for civil, women’s and LGBT rights throughout her life.  Linda was especially involved with animal rescue, in which her home became a safe haven for many unwanted cats and dogs over the years, in which she would find good homes.  She loved all her animals.Her daughter, Jennifer, and son, Johnathan, requested that family & friends in lieu of flowers send contributions in their mother’s memory to SitStayRead.

Contributors: Jennifer Mercer, Janna Eggers, Andrea Kinser, Lisa Kotesky, Elana Mendelson.

In Loving Memory of Rosemary Ashack

Rosemary graduated from the University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana with a degree in Russian Language and Literature. She spent her career, first with the U.S. government and later with the MacArthur Foundation, working toward causes that would bring about a more peaceful world and stronger communities. She was a firm believer in earning a liberal education, enjoyed reading, and was a life-long learner. She loved animals and children alike. She was a loving and involved aunt and stepmother, and a pet parent to two dogs and many cats over the years. She was also a regular contributor to various animal welfare charities. Given her fondness for children and animals, Rosemary would have been proud to support a cause that brings animals and children together to cultivate a love of reading through a love of animals.

In Loving Memory of Sam

Volunteering with his owner Julie since 2006, Sam was a special dog whose gentle way helped thousands of young readers feel at ease when they were with him. Students especially loved making Sam the star of their own stories, sending him on many adventures near and far over the years. While Sam will be sorely missed by all who knew him, his legacy lives on in the hearts of children all over Chicago.