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New library opens at Dunlow Elementary

Nov. 10, 2013 @ 12:06 AM

The Herald-Dispatch

DUNLOW, W.Va. — Dunlow Elementary School unveiled its new library during an open house at the school on Monday, Nov. 4.

Before the library, the library books were kept in the multipurpose building, where art, music and physical education classes also are housed.

When Chanda Perry took over as principal in 2012, she didn’t hesitate to respond with “library” when asked what was on top of her wish list.

“It was crowded and noisy. Students took little interest in the books simply because they didn’t have a quiet place of their own to relax, concentrate and read,” Perry said. “When I became principal, I had several goals … and the first thing I wanted to accomplish was getting a library for the students. I knew that type of project would be a great undertaking, but I felt that it was a necessity for our students and school.”

That’s when Mike McDonald and members of St. Therese Catholic Church in New Jersey stepped in.

McDonald first came to Dunlow with the Center for Faith Justice to complete some painting projects in 2012. The Center for Faith Justice is a religious-based organization that volunteers to complete community service projects.

During his visit to Dunlow, he met the staff and students and was overwhelmed with the love they have for their students and how hard they work every day to make a positive impact, Perry said.

He, his church and other outside interests helped to raise $45,000, which purchased a used trailer that was set up alongside the school.

Then the ministry team showed up this summer to get everything ready, from laying carpet to painting. A new $10,000 roof also was donated and installed for free.

But it didn’t stop there. A book drive was organized to help stock the library with more than 4,000 titles.

“These people didn’t even know us and were kind enough to come here and do this,” Perry said.

And when children returned to school and stepped inside their new library, they were in awe of what they now had at their disposal: new books and a place to read quietly.

Perry said they still have needs, including additional nonfiction books, bookends and funds or volunteers to start a summer adult literacy program for the community.

Dunlow Elementary School is located at 32800 W.Va. 152, in Dunlow.

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