Givers put books in children’s hands
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
May 17, 2013 | 1677 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kindergartners in Cristi Cameron's class at Central School practice their reading skills for members of the Tracy Givers, which provided the students with a $1,000 grant to purchase new books. Givers president Judy Ridpath reads a book with students, Javier Loyola and Kaely Martinez, during a visit to the school on Wednesday, May 15. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Kindergartners in Cristi Cameron's class at Central School practice their reading skills for members of the Tracy Givers, which provided the students with a $1,000 grant to purchase new books. Givers president Judy Ridpath reads a book with students, Javier Loyola and Kaely Martinez, during a visit to the school on Wednesday, May 15. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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Members of the Tracy Givers visited Central School on Wednesday, May 15, to see the students of Cristi Cameron's kindergarten class. The group spearheaded the effort to secure a $1,000 grant they donated to students. Former president and current member, Jan McDonnal talks with students, Jonathan Lartigue and Hannah Alvarez, about the books that were purchased using the grant money. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Members of the Tracy Givers visited Central School on Wednesday, May 15, to see the students of Cristi Cameron's kindergarten class. The group spearheaded the effort to secure a $1,000 grant they donated to students. Former president and current member, Jan McDonnal talks with students, Jonathan Lartigue and Hannah Alvarez, about the books that were purchased using the grant money. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
slideshow
Sitting in small groups on a colorful rug, kindergartners at Central Elementary School beamed with excitement as they demonstrated their reading skills for members of the Tracy Givers group Wednesday, May 15.

The students were reading books that had been bought using a $1,000 grant from the Tracy Givers, a local chapter of Business Network International, according to Jan McDonnal, former president and current member of the Tracy Givers.

BNI is a support group of business owners who refer business to other members in their local chapters.

“It’s awesome BNI was able to do that,” McDonnal said. “It’s been a long process.”

While attending a BNI event last year, McDonnal said she heard about the Givers Gain Grant and immediately thought of Cristi Cameron’s kindergarten class.

As part of a previous teacher adoption program, McDonnal had befriended Cameron, and she knew the teacher was looking for a way to purchase a supplemental reading program for her students.

A year later, the books are in the classroom at 1370 Parker Ave. and are a part of Cameron’s daily lesson plan.

On Wednesday, a few members of the group had the chance to visit the classroom and take part in a reading lesson.

“It was really exciting to learn there was a grant that I might possibly be able to use for readers,” Cameron said. “And Jan was able to put it all together.”

Pointing around the room toward her students, Cameron said, “You can see they are really excited.”

The grant enabled Cameron to purchase 234 books of different reading levels.

Tracy Givers President Judy Ridpath said “words couldn’t express” how happy members of her group were to make the purchase possible.

During the classroom visit, members of the Tracy Givers group sat on the floor to read with the students.

“We love it,” McDonnal said. “It’s a neat thing, because when these kids graduate, it will go to the next group (of students).”

Givers member Jeffery Haws said he was impressed, because Cameron could have used the money to purchase supplies rather than books, but those would have been used up within a year.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
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