Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bernardsville Library Sends Books to West Virginia

When Basking Ridge resident Neil Klingenburg visited his daughter Laura Peach in West Virginia, she told him that she didn’t have enough children’s books at different reading levels for her third grade students at the Mountain Ridge Intermediate School. So, shortly after returning home, Mr. Klingenburg visited Bernardsville Library and asked Youth Services Librarian Michaele Casey if she had any books she could spare to send to his daughter’s school. She did. For the past three years, Bernardsville Library staff members have been putting extra books aside (usually books donated by community members that the library already owns), and when Mr. Klingenburg drove down to visit his daughter, he took the books with him.

“The kids were impressed and so was I,” said Ms. Peach. “The books we received were good, high-interest reading. I even had to go out and buy additional bookshelves!” Ms. Peach, who married and moved from New Jersey to West Virginia with her husband, has been teaching at the Mountain Ridge School in Gerrardstown for four years. “I believe in giving the kids reading choices,” she said. “I have kids at all reading levels and abilities, and there was always something for everyone. This year I laid out all the books and let the children choose eight books to take home with them over the summer. I still have the largest book collection in my grade level, and the kids, some of whom don’t have many books at home, were thrilled to receive them. It has been such a blessing to receive the books all these years; I think it would be wonderful if people in your community/area knew what you have been doing and the impact it has made.”

A few months ago, the library received a class picture and eighteen hand-written thank you letters in the mail. “My new books are the best,” wrote a student named Anthony. “I love reading. I read here, there, everywhere. I read so much I can’t remembere [sic]. Again I love books there [sic] the best.”

Ms. Peach wrote, “Thank you…I hope that together we have developed some lifelong readers and learners.” Bernardsville Library staff members hope so too.

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