School Community Raised Nearly $100,000
Curley K-8 School students hold the ribbon used in today’s ribbon cutting ceremony of the new library at the school, which is located in Jamaica Plain. In the back row is Curley School Principal Katie Grassa, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and BPS Interim Superintendent Laura Perille. (Photo by John Wilcox / Mayor’s Office)
BOSTON — This past week, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Public Schools (BPS) Interim Superintendent Laura Perille joined students, staff, and families of the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain to celebrate the grand re-opening of the school’s library, which was the result of two years of volunteer work and community fundraising of nearly $100,000.
“The opening of the Curley School library demonstrates the power of community and its ability to affect positive change,” said Mayor Walsh. “Students, families, and community members worked together for a common goal, and together have revived this important resource for our students. That is something that should be celebrated, and I thank everyone who helped make this possible.”
The new library boasts old and new media, including an updated collection of new books to support students’ literacy development and personal reading interests, and the technology and online resources to allow students to research, collaborate, and present information in line with digital expectations of the current generation of learners.
This technology includes a Chromebook cart, an online catalog and circulation system, new books and other materials to supplement the existing collection, all of which has been fully catalogued by parents and staff. Renovations to the existing space include new furniture and shelving, fresh paint, new lighting, and carpeting.
“The students and families of the Curley School have a wonderful community with a long track record of supporting students in any way they can,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto. “It’s inspiring to see so many people come together to benefit the students of the Curley School.”
Leading the fundraising and renovation efforts was a group of passionate teachers and parents, who came together to form the Curley Library Committee, which had the goal of making a modern, accessible library the heart and soul of the school.
“It’s beyond uplifting to see so many community members come together to create something wonderful that is student-focused and promotes learning,” said BPS Interim Superintendent Laura Perille. “The Curley School community should be proud of all they have accomplished, and encouraged to know their strong efforts will lead to increased educational outcomes for their students.”
“The entire Curley community, from students to teachers to parents and staff, is thrilled to have a fully functioning, vibrant library where both students and teachers will be excited to explore and learn together,” said Katherine Grassa, principal of the Curley K-8 School. “The Curley’s new library is a testament to what is possible when passionate, dedicated parents, teachers and the larger community come together with a focus on the academic success of all our students.”
The Library Committee raised nearly $100,000 to renovate and rebuild the library spaces, far beyond the intended and expected fundraising goal. Curley families and teachers generously donated, as did members of the Jamaica Plain community – including those with no Curley affiliation at all – who are committed to the academic enrichment and success of Boston’s children. More than 200 donations were received on behalf of the library.
In addition to fundraising, Curley families and community members spent months sifting through the old book collection, saving those books that were in great shape and still current; selecting new books and materials for purchase; cataloging all materials into an online catalog; and, worked with the BPS Facilities Department on the renovation and furnishings.
The Curley is hosting a series of events during the week of September 17 to celebrate the library’s opening and to further engage students and teachers. Wondermore Books, whose mission is to support children in their love of learning and reading, will sponsor two local children’s authors and illustrators including Jef Czekai and Raul the Third, who will visit with students in the library.