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Rotary Promotes Literacy Through New Little Library
A few members from the community gathered to celebrate the new Little Library that was constructed in front of the Teen Center last week. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

The Riverbank Rotary partnered with the Little Free Library organization to assemble a Little Free Library in front of the Teen Center on Santa Fe Street for all to enjoy. In celebration of the new little library, members from the Riverbank Rotary, councilmembers Cal Campbell and Darlene Barber Martinez, Assistant City Manager Marisela Garcia, City Manager Sean Scully, and Director of Parks and Recreation Sue Fitzpatrick gathered last week for a brief ceremony.

Rotary President Albert Veldstra gave a speech that day welcoming everyone to the event and expressing his appreciation for the support of their new endeavor.

“Riverbank Rotary Club has been involved with literacy programs for several years,” explained Veldstra. “We used to distribute dictionaries to all the third grade students every year. Then we thought there should be a way of reaching more kids in the community with literacy projects.”

After doing some research the Rotary collaborated with the Little Free Library organization and voted on placing a little library right in front of the teen center across the street from Cardozo Middle School.

Aidan Pink, grandson of Rotary member Linda Gianelli, painted the library and at the ceremony stocked it full of books.

The Little Library was stocked with a variety of books for all ages and is free to anyone that would like to read them. The books can be returned, replaced or kept. Rotary members will monitor the library and keep it stocked. They also accept book donations.

“We recognize that not all the books are going to get returned and that is okay too,” said Veldstra. “All of our club members and city employees have all offered to collect books or donate books from their own personal libraries so we are going to just keep these things stocked as needed.”

Campbell expressed that he thinks it was a wonderful idea to have a little library on the street in Riverbank and thinks that it will promote reading.

Fitzpatrick also assisted the Rotary in getting the Little Library approved in the city and will be donating books to restock it.

“It is wonderful, the support,” expressed Veldstra. “It really does my heart good that this morning at this little dedication ceremony the support we got from the city of Riverbank.

“Personally I am very excited about this. I would love see one of these libraries on every block and there is no reason that other organizations in town and Riverbank couldn’t get involved in something like this too.”

As a Rotary member for 15 years and the club President for his fourth time, Veldstra believes that this little library will get people reading.

The Riverbank Rotary meets every Thursday morning at 7:15 a.m. at Perkos in Riverbank. Stepping up to become the next President in July of 2017 is Ana Merlo and President-elect for July 2018 is Monique Withrow. New members are always welcome.

For more information visit the Riverbank Rotary on Facebook.