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Bringing Books to 3rd Graders in Memory of Lavone Roberson

Representatives of the Stamford Public Schools (SPS), Stamford Cradle to Career (SC2C), the Ferguson Library, and Horizons at New Canaan Country School recently came together to recognize the legacy of Lavone Roberson. An educator who worked for Horizons and served on Stamford Cradle to Career’s - Early Grade Reading CAN, Lavone was a published author who recently passed away from ovarian cancer.

Over the past few weeks, 120 copies of Lavone’s book, “Nia Means PURPOSE”, have been donated by community members who were positively impacted by Lavone’s life. Starting next week, a copy of the book will be given to every SPS 3rd grade classroom in remembrance of Lavone. To introduce the books, community members will volunteer as guest readers at several schools during December. The following schools are hosting guest reader events:

KTMurphy     December 5th at 9:30 AM

Roxbury         Tuesday, December 6th at 10:30 AM

Westover       Wednesday, December 7th at 10:30 AM

Newfield        Friday, December 9th at 9:30 AM

Toquam         Friday, December 9th at 9:30 AM

Westover       Friday, December 9th at 9:30 AM

Westover       Monday, December 19th at 10:00 AM

Cynthia Manifold, SPS Director Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment - Elementary, has created a read aloud facilitation guide with questions to accompany the book.  The Ferguson Library also will be adding copies of the book to the children’s section at all branches.

“The book teaches students about finding their purpose and utilizing it to understand self-worth and to uplift others,” explained Rebecca Wilson, SPS Coordinator for College & Career Readiness/School Counselor Services. “This book donation project celebrates Lavone’s dedication to service and living a life of purpose while inspiring our students to find purpose in their own lives.”

Jacquelyn “Lavone” Roberson was from Norwalk, CT. She was an educator at Norwalk Public Schools, Horizons at New Canaan Country School, and an active member of Stamford Cradle to Career and Norwalk ACTs supporting the success of many students in both Stamford and Norwalk. Lavone passed away on October 10, 2022 after her third round of ovarian cancer. Lavone wrote seven children’s books about Nia, a fictional character who helps people learn purpose. She founded The Now I Am Nia Foundation, Inc., where she served communities in need through various philanthropic projects. When she was not writing, teaching, or volunteering in the community with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she enjoyed traveling and spending time with her six godchildren.

To learn more please visit and follow @NowIAmNia on social media.


Stamford Public Schools (SPS) comprises more than 16,000 students, over 1,500 professionals, and 21 schools, including seven magnet schools and three International Baccalaureate sites. SPS has a total of 13 elementary schools, five middle schools and three high schools. The mission of the Stamford Public Schools is to provide an education that cultivates productive habits of mind, body and heart in every student.

SPS is proud that our district is as rich in diversity as it is in talent. We have students from many cultural backgrounds and geographic locations—as demonstrated by the more than 70 different languages spoken in the homes of our families. SPS offers our students a learning experience rich in cultural diversity and reflective of the global society in which they will work and live.

Stamford Cradle to Career (SC2C) works to ensure that ALL Stamford children succeed in education, career, and life. We strive for equity and excellence for every child, from cradle to career. Stamford Cradle to Career is a community-wide partnership with more than 100 active members representing over 60 organizations, aligning resources to measurably improve the lives of Stamford children. We are a member of the StriveTogether national non-profit network of nearly 70 communities that have adopted the collective impact model.

The Ferguson Library helps individuals and organizations achieve success in an effort to build a strong, vibrant and inclusive community.

Founded in 1964, Horizons at NCCS is the first in a nationwide network of programs that are successfully closing the opportunity gap experienced by under-resourced students. Horizons at NCCS builds deep and lasting relationships with the 400 K-12 Norwalk and Stamford students it serves. The summer program and year-round academic and enrichment programming help students imagine and achieve a brighter future for themselves.

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