P.S. 279 opens renovated library

After undergoing renovations for six months, P.S./M.S. 279 reopened the doors to their new school library by celebrating with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony.

The renovations, which began back in June, gave the library a much needed boost for the school. With the addition of more space, the library now has more book shelves, allowing it to hold about 12,000 books as opposed to the original 8,000. Councilman Fernando Cabrera was on hand to cut the ribbon along with school Principal James Waslawski. Councilman Cabrera was able to allocate $300,000 on behalf of the city council Reso A funds in order to donate to the school for the renovation of the library.

“Education is like a key, and the children need that key to open doors of opportunity,” Cabrera said. “We wanted to make sure that this library is somewhere the children actually want to go into.”

After the ribbon was cut, Councilman Cabrera, District 10 Superintendent Sonia Menendez, members of the faculty and a small amount of students were brought into the library to see it for the first time. Not only was more space created, but the library received an entire makeover of bright colors appealing to the eye.

Murals of sea and jungle creatures surround the room, as well as a story time stage, sculptures and interactive game columns. According to Principal Waslawski, the library is just the first step of many planned renovations in the school.

“We have more renovations planned and expanding the gymnasium is next on our list,” said Waslawski.

Library teacher Gladys Ricardo, who has been working in the school library for 18 years, spoke briefly after Councilman Cabrera. She praised the efforts made in the renovations of the library and believes the new look will have a positive impact on the childrens education and will to learn,

“Everything is absolutely amazing,” said Ricardo. “It’s exciting knowing that the kids will be happy coming into the new look library.”

After the speeches were completed, the guests received a special cultural performance by some of the third grade children who are members of The Committee of Hispanic Children and Families, Inc. Some of the fifth grade music class then brought holiday cheer into the room by performing “O Christmas Tree” on their flutes. Special guest speaker Francesco Clark, author of “Walking Papers,” who was paralyzed in a swimming pool accident seven years ago, concluded the ceremony with a motivational speech for the guests.

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