Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Better Heart: The Search For School Library Funding

The following is an essay I wrote for a contest where the prize is a "library makeover." Granted, the prizes are computers not books, but at this point, I'll take what I can get. Our school library is small, and really needs to break into two libraries: one for elementary school students and one devoted to the needs of the middle/high school. If anyone out there has some money they wish to donate in this tough economy, we can put your name on the building. It will be our library, and yours, too! We will even let you check out as many books as you want for as long as you live. As for the contest, I had 2000 characters, including spaces and punctuation, to make my case.

The library is the heart of the school. Our heart is insufficient for our student body.

We are a pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade school of 650 students located in Canoga Park, California, founded in 1976 by the Armenian General Benevolent Union, an organization providing a cultural education for Armenians who were dispersed around the world following the genocide of 1917. This was the first mass killing in the twentieth century, and a model for the horrors of the Holocaust twenty-three years later. We know this because Hitler told us in his own words, haunting us for generations: “Who remembers the Armenians?”

The teachers, the principals, the librarians, the counselors, the students, parents, even the maintenance staff, battle daily to prove Hitler wrong, to insure that one and a half million Armenians buried in the landslide of history did not die in vain.

But we need your help.

We need a stronger heart.

We have a small library that must service all students, toddlers to young adults. We want to build, to expand, to become a force in education, and we feel this process cannot move forward unless we have a better library. Having Acer technology would allow us to maximize our space and offer students more opportunities to discover their world. Research projects, internet connections, worldwide communication possibilities, graphic arts, writing, history, literature, languages, all can be accessed and enhanced using technology. Our parents have donated money, we have reached out to the community, we have begged, borrowed, and pleaded, but we need more.

Books are sacred to us. Libraries are our cathedrals. Like the phoenix in the ancient legend, we wish to soar from the ashes of destruction to create a better world. We need help to gather the tools to make a difference.

We have a good heart, and we are willing to push beyond our boundaries. With your help we can strengthen our resources and endeavor to discover our future. We can build a better, stronger heart.

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