photo by Barbara Reid
EPAK And Edison McNair Academy Host Library Reopening

February 28, 2007

EPAK Contact: Laura Roberts, Board Member (650) 941-8068
EAST PALO ALTO – East Palo Alto Kids Foundation (EPAK), which provides a variety of grants for literacy, math, science, and the arts to teachers in the Ravenswood City School District, and the Edison McNair Academy, an East Palo Alto middle school, today announced they will host a library re-opening celebration at the school on March 7, 2007. The celebration marks the completion of a nine-month long project to restore and improve the long-closed library at this grade five through eight middle school.

The Edison McNair library project was conceived by EPAK board members, along with McNair school principal Douglas Harrell, as a way to meet the urgent need to bring a functioning library to a school that lacked sufficient resources to do so on its own. Seed money and project management resources where provided by EPAK. A number of volunteers then stepped forward to drive the project to its successful conclusion. Karen Shannon, Jane Sanders, and Tanner Hanson collectively dedicated hundreds of hours while leveraging their experience and skills to make this day possible.

“It is very rewarding to help advance such an important project that brings immediate and lasting benefit to students and teachers at the McNair Academy”, stated Mark A. Goldsmith, M.D., Ph.D., EPAK Board member, CEO of Cogentus Pharmaceuticals in Menlo Park, and a major donor with his family to expand the library book collection. “Karen, Jane, Tanner and key EPAK leaders like Laura Roberts have shown the enormous power of volunteering and its impact on the community. This collaboration among EPAK, school leaders, private donors and community volunteers is a model for how to get things done that really matter for our children.”

Both Shannon and Sanders organized and catalogued the existing and new book collections and implemented systems so that teachers and students can now checkout books and engage in online research. Tanner Hanson, of Los Altos Boy Scout Troop 30, supervised the Eagle Scout project to build bookcases to house the expanded collection.

The celebration will take place between 12:45pm and 1:30pm at 2033 Pulgas Avenue, East Palo Alto, in the school Quad area. The festivities will include a music and poetry program by McNair students, a mural dedication, and a ribbon cutting ceremony. The library will be open for all visitors and light refreshments will be served. Visitors are asked to check in at the front desk upon arrival.

For more information about EPAK, please visit www.epak.org. For those interested in attending the library celebration, or for those who have questions, please call Laura Roberts, EPAK Board Member, at (650) 714-4406.