When The Heart of America Foundation chooses schools for library revitalization and book donations, it looks for a staff dedicated to literacy.
It’s impressive, then, that in College Park was selected for the grant, because the library media specialist Curry Rose Hoskey spends only two days a week there, splitting her time between two other schools due to last year's budget cuts.
“I’m glad they didn’t let that be a barrier,” Hoskey said.
Perhaps it was Hoskey herself that mitigated the barrier.
“The librarian in this case is very passionate,” said Janice Reardon, vice president of development for the foundation, also noting the dedication of the teaching staff to make up for Curry's part-time presence.
“[Paint Branch Elementary is] right in the heart of a neighborhood. It’s a real community school,” Reardon said.
, Paint Branch Elementary School, project managers from the foundation and about 25 volunteers from FedEx, which underwrote the grant, will unveil a revamped corner of the school library, complete with new paint on the walls and about 250 books. Several of the new books in the library will focus on Chinese culture, to coincide with Paint Branch’s .
In addition, each student will get to take home two new books after the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the grant.
In all, that’s about 1,000 to 1,250 books, Reardon estimates.
The foundation, which is based in Washington, D.C., selects schools where more than 65 percent of students are on meal assistance, or it’s a Title I school. More than 25 percent of students are reading at or below basic levels.
Although the entire library won’t be getting a makeover, as some schools receive through the foundation's READesign program, Hoskey said Paint Branch’s library was in need of any help as it hadn’t been revamped in some time.
Hoskey said she’s confident the school district will move toward hiring more library media specialists in the future. In the meantime, the revitalized nook in the library gives the literacy program a boost.
“It’s a real thrill to be a part of that,” she said.
The ribbon cutting ceremony has been added to the Patch calendar . If you have an event that you think College Park residents should know about, go here and click "Add an Event" on the right.