On May 18, 2017, we brought together over 750 4th and 5th grade students and teachers from our four Riley's Way Program schools for an interactive assembly with RJ Palacio, author of The New York Times bestseller Wonder.

Wonder is about August (Auggie) Pullman, who was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until his parents enrolled him in 5th grade at Beecher Prep. Following Auggie's first year of school from the perspective of Auggie, his sister, and his friends, readers learn about how important, and courageous, the simple acts of friendship and kindness can be.

Bringing the students together was a celebration of their involvement with Riley's Way Program. RJ spoke to the students about how her struggle during a moment of unkindness led her to write Wonder, how important it is to choose kindness, and her journey as an immigrant and student at a public school in Queens. Because of the exciting message of the book, many of our schools have added Wonder to their curriculum!

A huge thanks to RJ Palacio and to The New York Society for Ethical Culture for welcoming us into their beautiful space.