Volunteer Spotlight: Cheri Simon

When Lisa Simon, a long-time producer and director on Sesame Street passed away last year, her sister Cheri Simon was instructed to donate a portion of Lisa’s estate to an organization that represented Lisa’s passions – education and literacy.

Cheri kicked off her search for a local New York City program devoted to children’s literacy right away.  When she read about Behind the Book online, Cheri had a feeling that the organization would be a perfect choice.


Cheri and Lisa vacationing together.


“My sister Lisa had a vision to empower people – particularly women and young girls – to be educated and that’s why she worked to bring Sesame Street around the world,” said Cheri Simon. “The driving force behind everything Lisa did was education and I know Lisa would be thrilled to support an organization like Behind the Book and their mission to inspire students to love reading and writing.”


Cheri volunteering with a 1st-grade class at PS 98 in Inwood.

Since making the donation in honor of her sister, Cheri, a former teacher herself, has spent time volunteering in classrooms with the Behind the Book team.

Cheri, who describes teaching as a humbling experience, adds: “Volunteering with Behind the Book has been eye opening. I know from prior experience that being a teacher is a wonderful and magical profession; it’s fun to go back to assisting with elementary level students.”

At Behind the Book, our volunteers are so important to everything we do. On behalf of the entire team and students, we can’t thank Cheri enough for her contributions.

This guest blog was written by Kaitlyn Kotlowski, a Behind the Book Young Executive Board member and a volunteer herself.