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Deerfield Park's New Reading Center Nation's First for Kiwanis

Shane Brown and Phillip Adams got a lifelong lesson in the rewards of in academic excellence recently. It was a school day, and the Deerfield Park Elementary School students got to dress up in a suit and tie, instead of wearing a school uniform. They had breakfast at the Hilton Hotel, sitting next to their principal and media specialist, and they got to go to school late.
Brown, age 10, is the president of Deerfield Park Elementary School’s student council. Adams, who is in fourth grade, is an honor roll student whose mother teaches first grade. On Thursday, they had exchanged school uniforms for suits and ties, and breakfasted with Ried, Assistant Principal Donna Ruker and Media Specialist Colleen Clarke.
The reason? Their school, Deerfield Park Elementary School, was the first in the nation to receive library enhancements through a project by New York-based Scholastic Books working with Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis is a service organization committed to helping children. In Deerfield Beach, that has provided the club on the east side of the city has pledged to put ten similar centers in schools throughout the southeastern United States.
As they downed plates of scrambled eggs, the students cast sidelong glances at the day’s real attraction: an area as colorful as it was inviting, arranged at the center of the Hilton Hotel’s banquet room. Furnished with wooden bookcases low enough that a pre-K student would have no trouble reaching the top shelf; beanbag chairs in primary colors, an Apple computer and , of course, books, it was an open invitation to slump into cushioned comfort, pick up a book and slip the surly bonds of earth.
In addition to two book shelves and five bean-bag chairs, the school will receive a colorful rug, an Apple computer, a smart board, listening center.
Most important, it will receive 1,230 books geared to readers between the ages of pre-kindergarten and sixth grade.
. According to Avis Swenson, Kiwanis club president, the $12,000 project is the first of ten such reading oases going in regionally.
The dedication of the new media cetner is set for 5 p.m. on December 18, and Ried said it would be a night no one would forget.
“I’m blown away,” she said. “We are a performing arts magnet school….with limited resources and….you will see, the excitement on their faces!”


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About the Reporter

Elizabeth Roberts has covered Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro... < More >

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