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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cabrillo Elementary Library Receives $5,000 Grant!

Who knew it costs almost $100 to enlarge a regular bank check into a giant check?  This is how I found myself making a giant check on Tuesday morning.  All you need is a large chunk of cardboard, a computer and a little imagination!

Larry's first reaction was, "You're making a FAKE check?"  Sure, I told him.  He seemed very concerned about any possible criminal activity this might entail.  I assured him that no one would actually try to cash this check.  Could be in real trouble....did I forge Laura Bush's signature?  No, I just wrote her name on a gaint piece of cardboard!

Max started Kindergarten at Cabrillo Elementary this year.  I wanted to be involved, but traditional PTA isn't exactly my style.  So back in October of 2010 the school Library tech and I sat down and talked about ways to raise money for the library.  With the state of education budgets, new library books rank low on the list.  As I talked to the school administration, I learned that the school library was actually closed for five years, just reopening last year.  Can you imagine a school without a library?

The library at Cabrillo elementary is an amazing space.  It was built with California Prop monies, so there was only funding for the actual building, not staff or equipment.  It has high ceilings, lots of light, but not so many books.  Any new books were from the scholastic book fair, so soft cover...not meant to last or show on a shelf.

I researched available grants and found that money was tight in this arena as well.  I found two grants that I thought might be a good fit for our school.  With the help of Jose and the school administration, I wrote a grant for the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.  It was a long shot....there are a lot of deserving schools out there.  We found out in May that Cabrillo was chosen from thousands of entries to receive one of 241 grants awarded!

So yesterday, I participated in a check presentation ceremony to present the $5,000 check from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries to the Cabrillo Library!

This is our Principal, Nestor Suarez, our library tech Jose de la Luz and Area Superintendent Diana Carberry.  Principal Suarez is an amazingly positive person!  One of the first things he did when he came to Cabrillo was to reopen the library.  Now with this $5,000 we'll be able to round out the collection for our kids!

As the school year comes to a close we look back on what a great experience this has been for Max.  He has found friends, acceptance and learned a great deal.  Max loves the library so it was personally fulfilling for me to help with this grant.



  1. Thank you so much for doing this!! I can't imagine a school without a library! (I have worked in libraries in the past.) Good for you for making a "novelty" check, too. I can't imagine spending $100 on that, that is money that could go toward books! Thanks for linking this up to our Wicked Awesome Wednesday link party.

  2. wow! So now I'm adding "grant-writer" to my list of Amazing Marti Skills. What a great gift to the school...books. A high five to you, Woman!


  3. Thank you so much for sharing this story! I find it so sad these days that schools are having trouble finding funding for something as enriching as books and libraries. What you did was wonderful and will touch so many children's lives. Kuddos to you!