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Drexel Avenue School Gets Reading Revamp

Capital One, Heart of America contribute to book donations, reading gazebo and more

Books can take the imagination to places far away from the reader’s location.

Following a donation of more than 800 new books, a reading gazebo and a specially designed book nook – thanks to Capital One Bank and The Heart of America – students at Drexel Avenue will have plenty of places from which to choose.

In the days leading up to Oct. 19, more than 100 Capital One Bank volunteers and The Heart of America Foundation’s READesign team helped Drexel Avenue’s staff to transform a classroom into a “book nook” conducive to learning and an outdoor area into a “literacy lodge” gazebo designed to promote reading away from the classroom.

“The new spaces and books will amplify the school’s focus on connecting nature with its core curricula. The hundreds of new books will also feature stories about financial best practices and money management,” according to a release from Capital One.

Since partnering with The Heart of America in 2001, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that helps foster volunteer service and literacy, Capital One has donated more than one million books to nearly 500,000 children in America while thousands of Capital One associates have volunteered to read to students and renovate libraries.

“I can’t say thank you enough. You don’t know what a great feeling it is to know that the corporate community cares about education, commitment and giving back to us. Especially now with the commissioner’s common core learning standards stressing literacy and ELA, what a timely manner to get a makeover for our library and provide resources for our children,” said Interim Superintendent of Westbury Schools Mary Lagnado.

Additionally, Drexel Avenue parents could benefit from a collection of adult-level resources about personal money management and career development. Capital One Bank will also donate five books to each of the over 550 students for their at-home libraries.

“Our children have been so excited because they have had some wonderful lessons. All this week we’ve had different volunteers coming in and working with the students,” said Wanda Toledo.

Westbury Village Deputy Mayor Joan Boes also spoke fondly of Drexel Avenue at the ribbon-cutting ceremony as her children passed through the school growing up.

“I want to say thank you to all the volunteers who make the school life here so much better,” said Boes.

Also in attendance was North Hempstead Councilwoman Viviana Russell, Dr. Rene Wright-Farnum, PTA president, Mike Slocum, Commercial Banking, Northeast Regional president, Capital One and Andrew Corrado, Long Island Market president, Capital One Bank.

“There’s nothing wrong with having fun while you learn and Drexel Avenue has made this a fun place to learn,” said Councilwoman Russell.