Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sarah Jessica Parker Supports NYC School Libraries

SLJ: 2008 October 9

Wouldn’t it be nice to have Sarah Jessica Parker and Caroline Kennedy looking out for your school libraries?

Well, New York City kids were lucky enough to have those women and others support their media centers as a part of the weeklong Shop for Public Schools program, which ended yesterday.

Parker and Kennedy, along with New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, and First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, kicked off the fifth annual Shop for Public Schools retail promotion on October 1 at a Barnes & Noble in downtown Tribeca.

Cosponsored by Barnes & Noble and American Express, more than 200 retail locations across the New York City took part in the program by donating a portion of their sales to raise money for the city’s public school libraries.

“There are few things more important in today’s world than education,” said Kennedy, vice chair of the Fund for Public Schools, a nonprofit organization that raises private funds for public schools and oversees Shop for Public Schools. “Shop for Public Schools is one way to help the children in our city learn to love reading, improve their research skills, and pursue their dreams.”

The goal, says Harris, is to provide each of the city's 1.1 million public school students with the resources they need to receive an excellent education.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to participate in Shop for Public Schools,” said Parker. “The fund is one of my favorite charities and this is a great opportunity for all New Yorkers to get involved.”

Sales donated will go to the Fund for Public Schools’ Library REACH (Revitalizing Education for Adolescents and Children) competitive grant program, in which public schools in high-need areas can apply for up to $10,000 to improve their libraries.

Proceeds go toward buying books, technology, and other critical resources in high-need school libraries and are used for physical upgrades to libraries, like desks, chairs, computers, and books, as well as allowing media specialists to use the new resources to create a hub of learning for the entire school community.

The Fund has raised more than $5 million since 2004 in support of library improvements. The program has so far supported more than 250 public school library renovations across the city.