Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Visit to Ramona Gardens

     Part of my job here at the Cypress Park library is to do outreach.  I visit various schools from pre-k to 5th grade.  I inform the children about the various programs our library has to offer and I also inform the teachers that they can schedule class visits and I can show the children how to use their library.
     On these visits I share many books and or songs.  I love reading stories or acting out the stories.  I want to get them excited about reading.  I notice that most children don't imagine anymore and through my story telling I ask them to close their eyes and imagine.
     This week I had the opportunity to visit the new library at Ramona Gardens. Here is a story of how this project began:
      After learning that youth from the community hesitated using the neighborhood public library out of fear of gang activity, HACLA felt a need to take action. The work to open an onsite library began in December, 2011. The goal was to open the new facility within the first quarter of the new year. Thanks to all of the organizations who stepped up to help, we have fulfilled our mission of opening up an environment where our children can fall in love with books and explore and experience a new world through the love of reading! The library was put together by volunteers and staff . On March 3, Fifty (50) UCLA volunteers answered our call for help. They rolled up their sleeves to paint and sort thousands of books. One of the volunteers was Lisa Snyder, a UCLA librarian whose expertise was invaluable. Employees at HACLA donated over 350 books! The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) stepped up and donated more than 2,000 books. Public librarian Sylvia Galan‐Garcia is also another person who has been an incredible resource for HACLA in this project. Scholastic Inc. donated 3,000 books and we hope to continue to work with Scholastic on other early literacy projects. The beautiful shelves in the library was handmade by Ramona Gardens maintenance staff! Ramona Gardens is one of fourteen public housing sites in the city of Los Angeles. It was built in 1942 and has 498 units, with approximately 1800 residents. By Bruin Caucus: UCLA's Advocacy Network 
   We are doing monthly visits to the library and reading to the children from the pre-k head start.  I had a great time with the children reading them stories such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin and singing songs from Jose Luis Orozco.
  It gives me great satisfaction to be part of this and that these children can share their experience with their parents and most importantly that they become excited about reading.

Miss Alicia singing Ten in the Bed with children at Ramona Gardens Library
Miss Alicia reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. 

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