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Rodriguez Elementary Gets Library Makeover

Volunteers with Capital One begin assembling the chairs and tables for the library.
Joey Palacios

The Cleto Rodriguez Elementary School library is receiving a complete renovation and makeover with the addition of new books.

Volunteers were hard at work piecing together new tables and bookshelves and thanks to The Heart of America Foundation and Capital One 6,000 books are being donated.

"We’ll be painting the walls, we’ve added inspiration quotes, we’ve shelved books, we’re also providing financial literacy in all the classrooms ," Monica Shortino, a community relations manager with Capital One.

Through the program READesign, each student in the school is also receiving five books to take home for their own personal library. Lisa Benson, director of the READesign program at the foundation, said their mission is to get students to read and succeed.

"The READesign program, library make over, reading corners, book drives are helping to put books into the hands of students," said Benson.

Many of the books being provided to the children are financial literacy books. Annalisa Spicer is the school’s librarian and said some of the books the school previously owned dated back to the 1990’s:

"We had about 8,000 books but at least 40-50 percent of them are over 20 years old. So this is my opportunity to get rid of those books, weed them out, give them to the kids, and put in newer updated, relevant material," Spicer said.

Since 2000, The Heart of America Foundation has redeveloped 51 school libraries and distributed more than 1.2 million books.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules