PEF gears up for Wellness Fair and book giveaway April 3, 2024 — Health and wellness resources? 20,000 free books? What more could you ask for?!  

There will be all that and more at the second annual PEF Community Wellness Fair and Reading Opens the World Book Giveaway, returning to the Washington Avenue Armory from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 27. 

“The event is very special in that it helps to solidify our commitment to serve all New Yorkers on and off the job,” said Stephanie Mclean-Beathley, administrator for the PEF Membership Benefits Program. “PEF members work in communities across New York State, and this is just one way we can support members and local communities alike.” 

The PEF Membership Benefits Program, in partnership with PEF, is spearheading the event aimed at promoting health awareness and a healthy lifestyle by bringing the local community together with PEF, its members, and the vendors who have the resources to foster a healthier you.  

“Our 2023 vendors were extremely pleased with the turnout, the location, and the opportunity to connect with the community,” McLean-Beathley said. 

Last year, all 20,000 books provided by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) were gone by the end of the day. Kids and adults of all ages browsed the titles, broken into reading levels. Families could take away up to 10 books and area educators up to 40. Some carried armloads, others brought along wagons.  

“Families found the atmosphere very welcoming for children who attended, and everyone present took great delight from the expressions of joy on the children’s faces as they selected their free books,” McLean-Beathley said. 

PEF is ready to go full speed ahead on the venture. 

“We hope to continue to grow this community event,” said PEF President Wayne Spence. “Those who enter public service care about their fellow New Yorkers, and this is a great way to continue to support them outside the workplace.”