Almanac

Community - January 5, 2011

Woodside kids help set up library in East Palo Alto

by Kate Daly

The Woodside School community is giving the gift of learning to hundreds of preschoolers in East Palo Alto this holiday season.

For months, students, parents and teachers have been running a book drive in Woodside, collecting more than 2,100 new and used books geared toward young readers.

Sheree Shoch, president of the Woodside School Foundation, said the student council also helped raise money to buy six bookshelves with the goal of expanding the library at the Ravenswood Child Development Center in East Palo Alto.

On Dec. 4, a group of 25 middle-schoolers arrived with the books and threw a kickoff party to introduce the kids to the new collection.

About 60 preschool-age children showed up with their parents for the party. They partook of refreshments and participated in a couple of holiday crafts projects with the Woodside students.

"Seeing these parents playing with their kids for two hours on a Saturday morning was wonderful, because usually they don't have time to do this," said Ms. Shoch.

"The center serves 240 kids, and most of them arrive at 7:30 in the morning and stay until 4 or 5 in the afternoon while their parents work," she added.

She said some of the Woodside students are planning to turn the library building experience into an ongoing community service project. They intend to come back and read with the kids on a regular basis.

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