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Linda Mah
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Woodward Gives Books to Students

Grant from Old National Funds Effort

At the end of the school year, students at Woodward School for Technology & Research received backpacks 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 they “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.

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 this in the future.”
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