"They start here before they start school," she said, crying. "Their families have been bringing them in here, most of them since they were little, to get books."
They had recently finished a gingerbread workshop.
She has fielded hundreds of calls and e-mails from around the country, people wanting to help Newtown. She's not sure what to make of it all -- she's both touched and overwhelmed. It's only been three days.
"It's not just about this week; it's not just about the next few weeks. It's about going forward. We have a long road here, a very long road," she said.
"It will never be normal, but we need to start getting back into routines. They need to start going back to their schools, they need to start going back to the Cub Scouts and the dance lessons and karate and all the things that make up their lives."
School starts up again Tuesday for all Newtown students, except those at Sandy Hook.
In a nearby reading area, a collie named Gracie sat as five youngsters gathered around. One read to her. The therapy dog was brought in, Bennison said, "because everybody needs a little animal love."
Gracie is 7 years old, the age of four of the children killed at the school.
When one of the boys learned of the dog's age, he jumped up and down with excitement. "My sister is 7 years old," he squealed.
A glimpse into normalcy -- for just a brief moment -- in a town where innocence has been stolen.