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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Woodland Hills

New World of Books Opens at Renovated Library

May 19, 1999|ROBERTO J. MANZANO

Children feasted their eyes on new books and original artwork at Woodlake Avenue Elementary School's new library, which was unveiled Tuesday.

The $55,000 library renovation, which doubled its size, provides an amphitheater area where teachers may read to students, and quiet corners for peaceful reading. There is also a collection of original paintings donated to the school.

"I'm so glad children will be able to appreciate [the art], and the library is a perfect place for it," said Principal Patricia Pelletier.

The Wonder of Reading, a local organization, provided $20,000 for the project and oversaw the monthlong renovation. The nonprofit group refurbishes Los Angeles Unified elementary school libraries that receive inadequate funding for such improvements. In four years, the group has renovated 23 LAUSD elementary school libraries.

Woodlake School raised $35,000 through donations from local businesses and benefits, Pelletier said, and new books were purchased with $10,000 of the funds.

Increased library space also will provide more room for Friday night pajama parties for parents and children, Pelletier said. The refurbishing coincides with increased library hours for mentors who read to children.

Pelletier said the library, unchanged since 1953, needed to grow to accommodate the school's 680 students.

"It's going to be enjoyed for many, many years," she said. "It will be a gathering space for the whole Woodlake community to appreciate reading and the wonderful benefit books can bring to your life."

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