When Estrella Elementary opened their doors in 2010, they had barely any books available to students. A Title I school located in an impoverished Los Angeles neighborhood, Estrella can only supply a limited number of books and educational resources to each classroom, and has no books at all to help their students at home.
This lack is not lost on the teachers and staff.
“They need much more than just classroom reading,” said Ana Martinez, a teacher at Estrella Elementary. “Schools and individual classrooms alike need a plethora of books that will spark student’s interest and that will inspire them to learn on their own.”
Thanks to the generosity of the Guru Krupa Foundation, First Book was able to change that.
Before Estrella closed its doors for summer vacation, every student was able to select up to three books to take home as their own, combating the summer slide. The students were overjoyed. Some asked when they had to return the books. The answer is: never. Those books are theirs to keep and read over summer vacation.
“I can’t wait to read these books during the summer,” said Alma, a third-grader. “I always wanted my very own chapter book. I’m going to set a goal to finish all three books over the summer. I want to read to my mom and little brothers so that they can learn English too.”
Estrella Elementary is one of 14 schools that now have brand-new books to put into the hands of their students thanks to the Guru Krupa Foundation. Through a generous grant, the Guru Krupa Foundation has made an immense impact by distributing more than 9,500 books across 14 different schools in Los Angeles.
It was an article in the New York Times that first drew the attention of Mukund Padmanabhan, president of the Guru Krupa Foundation, to First Book.
“The New York Times article made us aware of First Book’s activities, and funding a project with them to put books into the hands of young readers fit right in with our education-related initiatives,” said Mukund Padmanabhan. “We at Guru Krupa Foundation believe that education is a cornerstone for future success in life. Supporting initiatives that bring the benefits of education to underprivileged children can lead to enormous future dividends, not only for the children but to society.”
Guru Krupa Foundation is a New York based private foundation that funds various initiatives related to education, health, and basic sustenance of underprivileged children in India and the United States.