Mariposa Foundation assembly kicks off the Big Read project

In an assembly on Jan. 9, Jessica Lawson, co-founder of the Mariposa Foundation, stressed the need to educate and empower girls living in poverty, especially in the Dominican Republic, where the foundation began. The Mariposa Foundation, established in 2009, has been recognized by Nike’s “The Girl Effect” fund for two years in a row for its commitment to ending generational poverty by providing opportunities for young women.
The foundation focuses on academic enrichment and community engagement, working with schools to increase attendance and providing a haven for young women in the future Mariposa Center for Girls.
Lawson’s presentation served as a precursor to The Big Read, an event in which the Scotch Plains and Fanwood communities will read Julia Alvarez’s novel based on political struggles in the Dominican Republic, In the Time of the Butterflies. The proceeds from the Big Read, including those from the Read-A-Thon on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, will go toward building a pavilion in the new center to  be named after the Scotch Plains Public  Library.