Post-Katrina School Gets Its Library

A few weeks ago, the hard work of a large team of ReadThis members culminated in our hitting our target of 1400 books for the Andrew Jackson Middle School in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.

All of the school buildings in the district had been destroyed by Katrina and AJMS was one of the last readied for reopening this August. The only problem was that the revamped school remained virtually book-less.

Intrepid board member, Jeffrey Rotter, led the project to get these students a beguiling library, an effort that included publisher donations, a book sale at the Brooklyn Flea with the help of our friends at Greenlight Bookstore, an online wish list at the Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans, and several remarkable private book drives hosted by ReadThis members. A list of the champions of this cause appears below. Here is a letter ReadThis recently received from Denise Cooper, the curriculum coordinator for the St. Bernard Parish Schools:

“What can we possibly say to thank ReadThis’ entire troop for the tremendous support we have received and the fantastic supply of books for our newest middle school.  The librarian, Juanita Peralta, has been busy unpacking and cataloging the books…. We have placed a label in every book we have received saying that the books were donated through the efforts of ReadThis.

“Our students came into Andrew Jackson for the first time last Wednesday [August 11] and it was a great day for all.  The facility has been beautifully renovated, although there is still some last minute completions taking place.  The librarian has promised to take pictures this week and will send them to you.

“Again, many thanks  for all of your hard work on our behalf.  ReadThis has been so helpful as we continue on our journey of recovery.”

Although we hit our book-count goal — 1,522 to date — the school has taken up the offer to receive more books from a few generous ReadThis members. We’ll keep you updated on that. In the meantime, ReadThis and the Andrew Jackson Middle School profoundly thank the following people for their gifts:

106 books from Picador

20 books from Vernon House/Rachel Cantor

57 books purchased from the school’s wish list at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans

103 books from Hawes and Ambriel Bostic

22 books from Melissa Walker

32 books from the Institute for Children and Poverty

89 books from Sam, Suzanne, and Isabel Mitchell

21 books from Harry and Marjorie Keyishian

91 books from Barri Evins and From The Heart (invited by Susanna Einstein)

300 books through a book drive hosted by Susanna Einstein

134 new books purchased at the ReadThis Brooklyn Flea book drive with Greenlight Bookstore

135 gently used books donated at the Brooklyn Flea book drive

20 books from Scott de Simon at ESPN

15 books from the Greenlight Bookstore wishlist for AJMS from Jeffrey Rotter

87 books from an upcoming book drive hosted by Jaime Pessin

100 books from Weinstein Company

171 books from Katha Pollitt

12 books from Vicki An

7 books from Tony Apicelli

Plus: Magnitude Capital, Peter Harper, Buster Black, Alexandra Ringe, Martin Korsin, Rebecca Fitting, Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Eric Demby,  Rene Steinke, Joycelyn Heintz, Amy Loewy, and Britton Trice

One Comments

  1. Thank all of you for the wonderful donations. The students and staff are so excited to have such wonderful resources for the library and classrooms. This has been a great blessing for Andrew Jackson Middle.

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