(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
Dilapidated rusting shelves, broken tiles, and peeling paint is what comes to mind for many when they remember the Trotter Elementary School’s library.
Now the Roxbury school has a new library, books, and iPads.
“I’m just totally stunned,” said Mairead Nolan, principal of the school, as she wiped away tears of joy as the new facility officially opened this week. “The place is transformed, I can’t even recognize it.”
Two-thousand books, gallons of paint, new carpet and shelves were just a few of the additions made to the library that serves nearly 425 students. Funding came from Target and The Heart of America Foundation.
“This will give our students the opportunity to interact with good literature and see how good libraries look and function,” said Romaine Mills-Teque, assistant principal. “Not every school in Boston Public Schools has a library like this, so it’s special for us.”
The state-of-the-art library, part of Target’s School Library Makeover program, wasn’t a free ride for the school. It competed against eight other BPS schools, writing grants and applying, for the chance to get a new library.
“This library reaffirms our student’s dignity,” Nolan said. “It shows the kids they matter and that they deserve the best.”
The school’s library isn’t the only thing that has been revamped. A turnaround school, the Trotter for the past three-years has been working to boost its MCAS scores and change its image with the community.
Now with the library the school plans to introduce it and its function space to the neighborhood. Welcoming student’s families and siblings, the school and administrators want to make the new space a resource for all.
“We want to send that love of reading out into the community,” said Nolan. “We want to start programming for the neighborhood here. I think it will have a longer-term impact.”
In addition to the new library, the Target Meals for Minds initiative has also selected the school to be part of its program that will help feed local families. Every month 22 pounds of food will be distributed to each family to make sure students are eating right before they head to the classroom.
“This is a school on the rise and we want to be part of that,” said Nicole Hoffman, the store team leader for Target’s Somerville location. “I think this is one of the best ways to help the younger generation succeed and gain knowledge.”