After collecting thousands of new and used books for her classroom library and storing them in her garage for the past few years, Bonnie Anderson of Glendale knew it was time to put some of those books to good use.
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Anderson, a retired school teacher of 30 years and a member of the Westside Unit of the All Arizona School Retirees Association (AASRA), offered to donate over 5000 of the books to Paloma Elementary School in Gila Bend as part of AARP’s Create the Good initiative.
“I felt it was a natural fit for me to donate some of my new and used books to the school,” said Anderson. “In my career as a school teacher my passion has always been reading and my goal has always been to help children learn to love reading.”
Members of the AASRA Westside unit recently drove to Gila Bend in a caravan of cars and helped deliver Bonnie’s books to the school.
“It was a lot of hard work but great fun,” said Virginia Brant, AASRA Westside Unit President-Elect. “To see the joy on their faces when we arrived at the school makes it all worthwhile and we know that the kids will benefit from the books immensely.”
The books range from fiction to nonfiction and cover such topics as history, poetry, literature and math.
“They’re in hardback and paperback and range from kindergarten to eighth grade levels of study,” added Anderson.
Paloma school officials say the donated books will help fill out their library.
“We’re thrilled to receive them and we want to thank Bonnie Anderson for her generous donation which will go towards helping the children with their studies,” said Don Coleman, head teacher at Paloma Elementary School, which has about 88 students in grades K through eight. “AASRA has helped us meet the needs of our kids on many occasions, and we appreciate it very much.”
Over the years, the Westside Unit of AASRA has donated school supplies, backpacks and uniforms to help the kids at Paloma. The recent school book donation was also part of the AASRA Westside Unit’s involvement in AARP’s Create the Good initiative, which is an effort to encourage people to make a difference in their community.
“Getting involved through AARP is a wonderful way to get to know a community better, meet new people and help improve someone’s life,” added Brant. “I think Create the Good is a great way to reach out and make a difference.”
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