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Linda Mah
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Old National Supports Books at Woodward

Bank Donates $750 to the Cause

Students at Woodward School for Technology and Research went home in the summer with backpacks that were filled with six to 10 books, thanks to the generosity of Old National Bank.

The bank has been a supporter of the school for several years, funding activities such as field trips for students. This year the school decided it “wanted to get more books into the hands of the kids over the summer,” and turned to Old National for assistance, said Frank Rocco, principal of Woodward. Donations were so generous, the school will most likely be able to repeat the giveaway at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

The bank donated $750, which the staff used to buy books. Other area businesses such as Newell Co., Kalamazoo Barre and Bookbug donated books to the project.

With more than 3,000 books purchased and collected over the last two months of the school year, each kindergartener and first grader was able to choose 10 books, while the second- through fifth-grade students chose six to eight books each.

“They choose their own books. It’s like shopping,” said Ashley McDonald, Woodward’s instructional coach. She coordinated the project with Valarie Bader, the parent-community liaison for the school. “For our kids who don’t have access to books, this is huge.”

Joe Kiser, community relations manager for Old National said, “Anything we can do to build up families, that’s our job. We want to be low-key but impactful. This is perfect. We are going to continue to do this in the future.”

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