New library unveiled for kids in Olney

September 28, 2012 3:20:32 PM PDT
This was a day some elementary school students in Philadelphia have been waiting for: a big unveiling of their new library!

There were high fives as students from James R. Lowell Elementary in Olney walked wide-eyed into their newly renovated school library, which includes new furniture, iPads and 2,000 new books.

"I see a whole lot of books and a whole lot of excited people," said third grader Justin Robinson.

Students performed a well-practiced Shel Silverstein poem to a crowd of special guests including the School District Superintendent.

This project was made possible through a $250,000 grant from Target and The Heart of America Foundation. One of the goals is to help students read proficiently by third grade.

"Studies show us that if they can read proficiently, they're much more successful through the rest of the grades and into life," said Paul Bernard of Target.

"Our future is right here, we are trying to make a strong foundation for these students to be successful," said Principal David Lugo.

Meanwhile, a long line formed outside for Target's 'Meals for Minds' food pantry. $50,000 will provide each family in the school community 22 pounds of food, once a month. Philabundance teamed up for this initiative.

"Kids can't learn without having a full belly, so this is a really important component of what they're trying to do," said Maryanne Lynch of Philabundance.

As if the new library and the new food pantry weren't enough, each student gets seven free books to take home to begin their own personal libraries.


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