Maplewood’s own Words Bookstore was featured on the Today show and on co-host Jenna Bush Hager’s instagram account @readwithjenna in celebration of Autism Awareness Month.
Today reports that “when Jenna Bush Hager started her book club, her primary goals were to promote literacy across the United States and to create an uplifting, inclusive community of readers.” However, “the pandemic has had a devastating impact on small local bookstores around the country, many of which had to lay off employees and close their doors. Now, as Read With Jenna heads into its third year and the pandemic continues to impact local businesses, it’s an opportunity to highlight local bookstores” — starting with Words in Maplewood!
On instagram, Bush Hager wrote, “Located in 📍 Maplewood, New Jersey @wordsbookstore has a mission that separates them from the rest, engaging readers of all ages and interests and welcoming patrons and employees with autism. [words] has hired over 100 young people with autism since opening in January of 2009. April is Autism Awareness Month and [words] holds one of the biggest collections of special needs books in the country. Watch the video for some of their highlighted picks! Thank you [words] for inspiring us!”
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“Thanks so much to The Today Show, @readwithjenna, and Josh Harmon, for their recognition of [words] Bookstore and Autism Awareness Month,” owner Jonah Zimiles told Village Green. “The steadfast support of our staff and the entire MapSO community, in particular the Maplewood Township Committee and the township’s dedicated team, has been essential to our ability to provide services to autism families. Finally, we also want to congratulate our fellow Maplewood autism entrepreneurs, Beloved Bath, for their recent business expansion. We hope to be reopening to the public soon, and, in the meantime, we thank everyone for shopping on wordsbookstore.com.”