Fundraiser seeks to prevent Atwater school library staff from checking out

One of Annette Gladstone’s fondest childhood memories was spending time in the school library.  Now, as the owner of an Atwater Village pre school, Gladstone wants to make sure that the current generation of students also get to enjoy a  school library. She has launched an ambitious fundraiser to keep the school library at Atwater Elementary open this year. The school, like others across L.A. Unified, is being forced to close or dramatically cut back library hours after some deep budget cuts.

Gladstone, working through the nonprofit Friends of Atwater Elementary group,  is now seeking to raise $15,000 online that would keep library staff on the job for the school year. Otherwise, there would be no funding after Sept. 23, she said.

School principal Charles Smith said the library aide whose job will be eliminated after Sept. 23 currently keeps the library open three hours a day, five-days a week. The aide restocks books, tells stories to the students and works on other chores.

In addition to the $15,000, Gladstone wants to raise $30,000 to renovate the existing library. As of this afternoon, only $455 had been pledged. What happens if the online fundraiser featuring a video of Atwater students does not work?  “I like to think positive,” said Gladstone, who plans to approach neighborhood businesses for support.  “I’m going to play this video over and over again until we get that money.  It  just  has to be done. ”


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  1. I wish them the best! The library was always my favorite part of the school.

  2. When the Superintendent of LAUSD, John Deasy feels comfortable openly stating that children do not acquire literacy skills in the library (listen to Supt. Deasy interview that took place on 9-15-2011, KPCC) then it should be no surprise that LAUSD school library doors are being slammed in the faces of kids.

    Shame on the LAUSD school administrators for funding huge salaries for themselves, while shuttering school libraries and expecting parents and philanthropists to fund access to books for school children.

    LAUSD actions on this one are short-sighted and just plain wrong. Call the School Board members and the Superintendent’s office – this kind of cavalier attitude toward school libraries must stop. The District should put students first and put the funds in place to keep the libraries open.

  3. Door to Door and bake sale time!

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