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New place to read at ESJE

By Kimberly Hopson
L’OBSERVATEUR

LAPLACE – East St. John Elementary School unveiled its new library reading corner during a grand opening ceremony at the school on Tuesday.
Through a grant from Capital One Bank, the Heart of America Foundtion’s READesign team worked with East St. John Elementary’s staff members to transform an area within the library into a vibrant learning center with age-appropriate reading material for their students.
The redesigned library has a new rocking chair, stylish, multi-colored floor cushion seating, tables and chairs and cafe-style chairs for older students. Framed art was also donated. The reading corner features environmentally friendly components such as paint without volatile organic compounds. Materials from the project renovation were recycled after completion.
Approximately 25 Capital One Bank volunteers worked at the elementary school to complete the reading corner. The volunteers assembled furniture, decorated the library and sorted and stocked the books, along with an assortment of other jobs.
Employees of the Belle Terre Capital One Branch Brittany Dennis and Nikki Brown were enthusiastic about the community response at the unveiling. The pair said they helped pack up the library during the first day of volunteering and were happy to “see it through.” Both said that they enjoyed volunteering for the cause.
“I want to do it again. It feels good to give back to children,” said Dennis.
“And assist the children’s education,” interjected Brown. “Hopefully, this will make them want to read more.”
“I really think they’ll grow up and want to volunteer and help other students. You never know what kind of impact you’ll have on a person,” continued Dennis.
Volunteers also read aloud, distributed books and interacted with the children. Capital One Bank provided more than 250 books for the reading corner and also donated two books to each of the students in the school to take home so they can build their own home libraries.
Nancy Stich, the North Baton Rouge District manager for Capital One Bank, thinks that the project demonstrates her company’s commitment to learning and helping students develop a love of reading.
“This is a project that exemplifies that Capital One is investing for good in communities. If students excel at reading, then their academic success goes hand in hand with that. They’re going to do well as they go off to college or join the workforce. It’s a wonderful way to support the community,” said Stich.