Reader’s feast

December 28, 2019 by admin

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORTH WHITTIER – Parent Donna Mondragon could hardly believe her eyes as she walked into the new Wonder of Reading library at Andrews Elementary School. Between the gleaming bookshelves stocked with newly coded books, the carpeted mini-amphitheater and a reading area where students can sit on huge throw pillows, Mondragon had only one thing to say as she walked through the library’s entrance. “Wow – it’s beautiful!” It took several years of planning, hundreds of hours of legwork and thousands of dollars in fundraising, but there were no complaints Thursday as the school held a grand-opening ceremony for its new $70,000 library and the expanded reading garden next door. Andrews is now the ninth school in the Whittier City School District to renovate its library through the Wonder of Reading Foundation, which helps match elementary schools with local donors who are willing to pay half the cost of the library renovation. Once Sorensen Elementary opens its planned Wonder of Reading library, the district will have Wonder of Reading libraries at all of its elementary schools, funded by grants provided by the Rose Hills Foundation. “The love of reading is invaluable in laying the foundation for academic success,” said Superintendent Carmella Franco. “That love is nurtured in the type of setting where a child can pick up a book and read inside a state-of-the-art library or outside in a lovely garden.” The Wonder of Reading Foundation uses a “3R” program – renovate, restock and read – to improve libraries. The library is renovated, restocked with $10,000 worth of new books, and volunteers are trained to read with children at school. In addition, the Andrews school community raised an extra $10,000 to pay for fencing, furniture and beautification of the William Jimenez Reading Garden, named in honor of a former student who died in a skateboarding accident in 2004. “It was very important to us to preserve William’s garden,” said Principal Erlinda Soltero-Ruiz, who sang karaoke to the students in a clown costume earlier this month as a reward for their fundraising efforts. “This garden has been a comfort not only to our students, but also to the Jimenez family,” she said. Mondragon was among hundreds of parents and community members who turned out for the grand-opening ceremony. “We’ve been waiting for this for years,” said Mondragon, 42, who has a son and daughter attending the school. “And everything here was donated by parents and the community – that’s the way you have to go when the school’s budget is tight. “So it’s a good thing we have good parents who care.” tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051last_img

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