Curley K-8 School Celebrates Reopening of Library, After Raising $100K+

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Students, faculty and parents of the Curley K-8 School were joined by Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Public Schools staff to celebrate the long awaited reopening of the school's library on Thursday.

Maria Barletta

Mayor Marty Walsh joined Curley K-8 School students in a ribbon cutting on Sept. 20, 2018, to celebrate the grand reopening of the school's library.

The reopening of the library was due to more than $100,000 being raised by the Curley Library Committee, which was formed in the fall of 2015 when Principal Katie Grassa asked a group of teachers and parents to explore the possibility of reopening one central library to replace the school's two closed libraries. The library was closed in 2012 due to budget cuts under a previous school principal.

"Donations of note include a JP resident who saw the 'Bring back the Curley Library' sign in the school yard, and expressed interest in donating $10,000, if we would design a matching fundraising campaign and market it throughout JP, not just within the Curley community," said Pam Yosca, a parent of two Curley School students, who also happens to be a librarian (not in Boston Public Schools), to Jamaica Plain News last year. "We launched that in [June 2017], to great success -- many JP residents contributed, often with notes citing their support for library services in BPS, or with dismay that the Curley libraries were shuttered." Yosca and fellow Curley School parent Ashely Rao are co-chairs of the library committee

“The opening of the Curley School Library demonstrates the power of community and its ability to affect positive change," said Mayor Walsh via press release. "Students, families, and community members worked together for a common goal, and together have revived this important resource for our students. That is something that should be celebrated, and I thank everyone who helped make this possible.”

Maria Barletta

Principal Katie Grassa, far right, joins students and Mayor Walsh, kneeling, at the ribbon cutting for the reopening of the Curley K-8 School's library on Sept. 20, 2018. Photo by Maria Barletta

“The entire Curley community, from students to teachers to parents and staff, is thrilled to have a fully functioning, vibrant library where both students and teachers will be excited to explore and learn together,” said Katie Grassa, principal of the Curley K-8 School. “The Curley’s new library is a testament to what is possible when passionate, dedicated parents, teachers and the larger community come together with a focus on the academic success of all our students.”

The new library includes old school media materials like new books, as well modern technology and online resources. The technology includes a Chromebook cart, an online catalog and circulation system. The library also went through physical renovations to include new furniture and shelving, fresh paint, new lighting and carpeting.

The library will also be staffed by a full-time library paraprofessional who will teach literacy skills while working collaboratively with teachers to support and expand curriculums.

“The students and families of the Curley School have a wonderful community with a long track record of supporting students in any way they can,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto. “It’s inspiring to see so many people come together to benefit the students of the Curley School.”

Maria Barletta

School Librarian Sandra Samuel, yellow shirt, helps kids check out books.