Fundraiser Strives to Improve Each School’s Library Experience

Michael Utsumi, Funding & Programs Coordinator
April 16, 2019

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”  ~ Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine Essayist

At worst, the results could have matched the weather. At best, a few raindrops wouldn’t prevent community supporters from fulfilling their mission. Over one February weekend, scores of meals were purchased (and enjoyed) with the intent of supporting the DPIE Dine Out event at Yalla Mediterranean in the Persimmon Place shopping center. Its primary motivation was to raise funds for all DUSD school site libraries and their Media Technicians.

Dublin Media Techs

Left to right: Ms. Traci Kaatmann at Amador Elementary School, Ms. Michele Kraemer at Dougherty Elementary School, and Ms. Marthajean Klien at Dublin Elementary School.

In order to succeed, the program required a high level of cooperation throughout the entire school district community. Some of these efforts included promotion at the schools, messaging through the various Parent Faculty Clubs (PFCs) and through social media. Without interfering with legacy book fairs, DPIE hoped to supplement the efforts to complete purchases for desired books, supplies,or furniture. With 11 school libraries, the needs at each site are diverse and distinctive. The Media Technicians would be empowered to determine how the funds would best be utilized.

Media Techs

Left to right: Ms. Doreen Bonde at Dublin High School, Ms Liana Smith at Fallon Middle School, and Ms. Barna De at Green Elementary School.

Through Saturday and Sunday, some diners came into Yalla with a paper flyer or displayed their mobile device to the cashier indicating that their meal would benefit school libraries. In a previous blog, we recognized Yalla Director of Operations, Daryn Friedman for his generosity in helping to organize this fundraiser. In the end, we were able to share over $1,400 in proceeds with our 11 school libraries.

Media Techs

Left to right: Ms.. Kim Ferrier at Kolb Elementary, Ms. Andrea Prior at Murray Elementary, and Ms. Patty Shipps at Wells Middle School.

To help close the circle, we solicited comments from our Media Technicians for two basic questions:

DPIE: Why is your library the “heartbeat of the campus?

Barna De of Green Elementary: “It is because the students can come in and read during times that I don’t have a class in. I have student helpers who come in before, during and after school to help shelve books, decorate the library, the bulletin board or just to chat. Students come in and chat with me about their weekend, about what they are happy and sad about. Since all the students come to the library, I get to know all of them and their reading habits. It helps that the library is in a central place and I try to make it a warm, inviting place for them to come to read and to learn.”

DPIE: How does dedicated fundraising help your library?

Lori Sevilla of Frederiksen Elementary: “I am always looking at ways to add quality literature to our collection. This year, one of my main focuses has been on adding diversity to our shelves. Dedicated fundraising helps me target certain areas and to apply the funds raised to meet that particular need.”

Liana Smith at Fallon Middle School: “We want all students to grow up to become readers, writers, artists, thinkers and inventors. But for this to happen, we have to connect kids with books. We have to change lives with books. Having the book that students want, when they want them is vital to keep them coming back for more.”

DPIE would like to acknowledge the school site libraries and the community for their support of this joyful endeavor. It is probably appropriate that we conclude this tale with a final quote.

“There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” ~ Bertrand Russell, British Philosopher & Nobel Laureate