By: Manny Otiko, IVN
Highland, CA — Cypress Elementary School in Highland, kicked off the school year with a new library. Cypress Elementary is part of the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
According to a press release, the school has been without a library for 20 years.
The new library is a converted classroom and will feature a media center for student research and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (stem) center.
The new library’s books were donated by Access Books and Santa Monica Books for Kids.
According to Cypress Principal Ernesto M. Calles, before the addition of the new library, students used the Highland Sam J. Racadio Library & Environmental Learning Center, which is part of the San Bernardino County library system.
However, Calles said the system was challenging logistically.
“Our students love to read,” said Calles in a press release. “And for several years, we’ve had access to an amazing library not far from our school.”
Now students can access books and do research on campus.
“We know our students and staff will benefit greatly from having their own, student-focused library on campus and available to them during all school hours,” Calles said. “And that wouldn’t be possible without the amazing generosity of Access Books and Books for Kids.”
Access Books is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that helps schools in deprived neighborhoods by transforming libraries. The nonprofit, which has been operating for 20 years, has renovated more than 300 public school libraries and donated more than 2 million books.
Access Books also partners with children’s authors, illustrators, and performers to stage public events encouraging young readers.
“No matter where they live, every child deserves access to high-quality books and the popular titles they love to read. We also know that books make a world of difference for students in the classroom and that stories can also be a refuge and source of emotional support,” said Dr. Rebecca Constantino, founder of Access Books, according to a press release.
Inland Valley News coverage of local news in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support minority-owned-and-operated community newspapers across California.