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One woman's work brings new books to Carbon Cliff


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Originally Posted Online: April 18, 2013, 6:05 pm
Last Updated: May 06, 2013, 9:13 am
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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

Camille Ponce said poverty was part of her childhood, so she can relate to students at Eagle Ridge School in Carbon Cliff.

About 94 percent of the school's students come from low-income families and qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch, principal Tim Green said. The school was featured in a segment of a recent PBS documentary on child poverty.

So when one of the students mentioned there weren't enough books in the school library, Ms. Ponce decided to raise money for more books."I really wanted to help them because I kind of understand where they are coming from."

Ms. Ponce, 25, who moved to Chicago from the Phillipines when she was 9, is working on a master's degree in speech-language pathology at St. Ambrose University, and working with Eagle Ridge students to gain experience.

She applied for, and received, a $1,000 grant from the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, and held several fundraisers. With the help of the area parent teacher association and others, another $1,000 was raised.

Mr. Green said$1,500 will go towards books, and the remaining $500 will be used to start an e-book library students can access through school-issued iPads, bought with a grant from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Ms. Ponce presented the money to the school during a Thursday Family Reading Night.

Community members helping her decided to add a meal to the reading night in hopes of drawing more people and encouraging parents to help their children with reading at home.

The Silvis Library set up an information booth about its resources and United Way donated 150 books as part of itsPohlmann Program for Young Readers and Imagination Library program.

The Pohlmann program is designed to get books to students who receive free or reduced lunch and the Imagination Library program provides free books to registered children until they are 5 years old, spokeswoman Marci Zogg said.
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"It's all part of our work to change lives and create a stronger community," she said.

Mr. Green said the school also draws on the resources of other libraries to meet student needs, and the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education has been helping.

Ms. Ponce said organizing the effort showed her how much a community can help to ease the affect low income has on the school.

"It really makes me feel like a difference can be made for kids."























 




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  Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.






(More History)