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Capital One Bank Builds P.S. 112 Reading Room

At the end of a long day, not much is better than curling up in a quiet room with a good book. Now students at P.S. 112 can do that in the middle of the day, right at school.

Capital One Bank and the Heart of America Foundation joined together to build a new reading corner over the course of two days on Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31 at P.S. 112 on 1925 Shieffelin Avenue.

They also donated two brand new books per student as part of a program designed to encourage literacy and give bank employees a chance to directly help out under-served schools.

It was hard to tell who was more excited about the two-day project, the students or the bank employees.

“People love doing it,” said John Habermann, Bronx Market president for Capital One Bank and a Parkchester native. “They feel so good painting, hanging and moving chairs. You can really make a difference in these little kids lives who might not have the privilege of other kids,” said Habermann.

In addition to actually building the reading room, Capital One Employees went to classrooms and read to students.

“They’re so well behaved,” said Lisa Summa, a branch manager. “The kids are so engaged. There was one who actually took notes.”

Capital One Bank and Heart of America accepted applications from several different Bronx schools, but chose P.S. 112 because they felt it was best equipped to maximize the new resources.

Heart of America also found that many schools in under-served neighborhoods don’t have age-appropriate books, so they made reading and literacy a priority.

“I try to bring resources into the school,” said school principal Susan Barnes. “You have to be a principal who is out there asking for it. Our school librarian was out at a library meeting and she heard about the Capital One program so I got right on the computer and wrote the grant.”

The school librarian, Lethia Williams spent the two days walking around the school, videotaping all events to play back at a future assembly.

“This day is great for me,” Williams said. “When I had kids in school, we sat in the cafeteria reading books to them.”

Fourth-grader Julian Morris, vice president of P.S. 112’s student council, could see the success of the event simply by observing the way his peers were behaving.

“This reading corner is really good for the kids, because of the way they’re acting,” Morris said. “They’re acting like regular kids should. When they think that something is interesting, the other wants to look at it and see how fun it is.”

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