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Celebrating the Achievements of Children TM

Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things. We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements.

Amazing Kid! of the Month for September, 2008:
Amazing Young Library Hero; Salem, Massachusetts

Amazing Young Library Hero, Jonathan Marrero, age 10, with award from Salem City Council
Amazing Kid! of the Month, September, 2008:  Jonathan Marrero, age 10; Amazing Young Library Hero

Quotes of the Month

“Anybody who shows me what the right thing is, is inspiring to me."

”All living things need lots of care (even plants). Everybody should have a part in the community to help.”

Jonathan Marrero, age 10
Amazing Young Library Hero


Our September 2008 Amazing Kid! of the Month:

Jonathan Marrero, age 10, loves to help. So, when the public school system in his home town of Salem, Massachusetts, was in trouble, he stepped up. He started a fundraising movement that saved the school libraries. Read more about Jonathan below and get inspired to help others in your community!

As Jonathan says, “Helping is always a good thing.”

Don't forget: If you, or a young person (or persons!) you know, has an amazing project you are involved in, or a special skill, talent or ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it! Simply complete our Amazing Kids! of the Month award online nomination form, visit our AKOM nomination information page ( or email us!

Table of Contents

    buttonThe Library Fundraiser

    button"Helping is Always a Good Thing"

    buttonPlans for the Future

    The Library Fundraiser

    Amazing Jonathan and friends help raise
    money for their school library!
    Amazing Kid! of the Month, September 2008:  Jonathan Marrero, age 10 and friends, Amazing Young Libary Hero

    When the public school system in Salem, Massachusetts was hit with a very large budget deficit, the city decided to layoff eighty members of the school community and to close the school library in order to meet this shortfall. Ten year old Jonathan Marrero overheard his mother talking about this on the phone and was very upset.

    The following day, he brought in a box of money that he had been saving for some time and gave it to the librarian with a beautiful note. She was very moved, but could not keep the money and returned it to Jonathan. Word got out about Jonathan’s sacrifice, others were motivated, and a fund was established by city officials to help the schools through this budget crisis.

    That weekend Jonathan got his brother and a few friends, made sandwich board signs and went through the neighborhoods of Salem collecting donations to help keep all school libraries open. In three days, Jonathan and his friends collected $1500.00 for the school libraries in Salem.

    “We would go out whether it was rain, sleet or snow or any kind of weather. Sometimes I would ask people if they wanted to donate and I’d tell them how the school system needed money to pay teachers and paraprofessionals because we had a big deficit and the libraries might get closed.” Jonathan explains.

    He then continued to raise funds selling hot chocolate and homemade lollipops in front of his house during his school vacation and raised another $750.00. A snowfall during the vacation gave Jonathan yet another idea. He went out with his shovel and started a new business and raised another $245.00 for the general fund.

    Amazing Kid! of the Month, September, 2008:  Jonathan Marrero, age 10; Amazing Young Library Hero
    Jonathan presenting some of his earnings to Mayor Kimberley Driscoll
    of Salem, Massachusetts

    Because of Jonathan’s efforts and those of many other people and businesses in the community, only 33 jobs were lost.

    “Jonathan inspired both adults and children to donate their savings, piggy banks and allowances. In our school he is referred to as an activist and he seems to like that title. He has done so much for both the morale and the finances in the Salem Public Schools and he did it all within a period of three weeks! What a huge difference this ten year old boy has made,” says his music teacher Kristine Wilson.

    Jonathan also got an opportunity to meet the Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick this summer during a grass-roots activism effort.

    "I wish we weren't asking 10-year-olds to go out and raise money to keep the librarian in the school," Governor Patrick said to the crowd, and then turned to Jonathan to say "I love that you stepped up."

    Back to Table of Contents

    "Helping is Always a Good Thing"

    Amazing Kid! of the Month, September, 2008:  Jonathan Marrero, age 10; Amazing Young Library Hero
    Amazing Kid! of the Month, September, 2008:  Jonathan Marrero, age 10; Amazing Young Library Hero
    Jonathan helping  younger brother Paul
    with his homework.
    Jonathan posing with sign for his yard sale
    to raise money for fellow classmates in need

    Jonathan loves to help others. When his class was going on an “almost overnight trip” to Boston, each kid in the class had to raise $55.00. Jonathan sold candy to help pay for his trip, but some kids couldn’t do that. So, Jonathan sold some of his things at a yard sale and made over $170.00. He donated this money to kids in his class who needed help.

    “I want to be a big part in my community. Last week I collected trash with my brothers, my cousins and my grandmother. We divided the trash into regular trash and recyclables. We got 3 or 4 bags just around my grandmother’s neighborhood.” he says.

    His inspiration comes from his mom. Jonathan’s mom, Maria Elaina Marrero, works for a hospice and travels to different nursing homes, hospitals and health care buildings.

    Jonathan and Lois conversing in sign language
    Amazing Kid! of the Month, September 2008:  Jonathan Marrero, age 10; Amazing Young Library Hero

    “On Easter, my Mom took us boys to visit one of her patients named Lois, who is blind and deaf. She took us because Lois’s family doesn’t visit her and my Mom feels bad for her. We signed to Lois and she asked us questions with sign language to get to know us - like how old we are, what sports we like and other normal questions. We answered her by lightly signing in her hand. My Mom has been teaching us how to sign because our Dad, who lives in Florida, is deaf. We are learning to send him messages on the Can Frog and get messages back from him.”

    He has also been inspired by his teachers, his grandmother and his aunts. “ Anybody who shows me what the right thing is, is inspiring to me.” he says.

    Back to Table of Contents

    Plans for the Future

    Jonathan has many plans for the future.

    “I want to help people in need. Some of the things I’m interested in doing include: being an actor, a pilot, and having a hospital for people and animals. As an actor, if I get rich I can start shelters and help poor people who need things. If I become a pilot I can deliver resources to places that need medicine and food like Africa and El Salvador.” he explains.

    Jonathan loves animals and believes that just like humans, animals need lots of attention, love and care.

    “The only difference is they have 4 legs and lots of hair. We have a new puppy named Raven. She’s afraid to go out in the rain when she has to go. We have to put Raven in our jacket to keep her warm. All living things need lots of care (even plants). Everybody should have a part in the community to help.” he says.

    Back to Table of Contents

    Related Links

    nypl.jpg Read a letter Jonathan received from New York Public Library Director David Ferriero here.

    Amazing Kids!' Launch My Dream! Initiative Information To find out how you can help kids in your own community, visit Amazing Kids!' Launch My Dream! Initiative information page:

    Back to Table of Contents

A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered. (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!)

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it! Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are! We are always looking for new stories. And don't be shy! We'd love to hear from you!

Here's an idea you might want to try:


If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them? Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talent.

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors. If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at:


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