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Future and Retired Educators’ Book Drive Brings Smiles to Students’ Faces

CEA Retired President Gloria Brown and CEASP Chair-elect Cori DeLorge unload donated books at Mayberry School in East Hartford.

CEA Retired President Gloria Brown and incoming CEA-SP Chair Cori DeLorge unloaded donated books at Mayberry School in East Hartford.

“We get books to take home?” excited students at Mayberry School in East Hartford asked members of the CEA Student Program (CEA-SP) and CEA Retired as they carried boxes full of books into the school last week.

CEA-SP and CEA Retired organized a book drive that collected 400 books for Mayberry School. The school will give one book to each student to take home for summer reading. The drive also collected several hundred additional books that will be donated to Hopeville Elementary School in Waterbury.

Nicole Cook's third grade students were excited to learn they would receive a book to take home this summer.

Nicole Cook’s third grade students were excited to learn they would receive a book to take home this summer.

CEA Educational Issues Specialist and State Student Organizer Michele Ridolfi O’Neill said that seeing the students’ reaction was the best part of the book drive. “The looks on the students’ faces when we told them that they’d each be getting a book to take home for the summer showed how important this was to them and how excited they were,” she said.

Gloria Brown, president of CEA Retired, said she was very pleased to have been involved with the book drive. “It really was awesome to see the kids get excited about reading,” she said.

CCSU students Bryanna Novak-Rich, Kelly Barr, and Bryan Czel sorted books by grade level to prepare them for delivery to Mayberry School in East Hartford and Waterbury's Hopeville Elementary School

CCSU students Bryanna Novak-Rich, Kelly Barr, and Bryan Czel collected boxes full of books that they sorted by grade level to deliver to Mayberry School in East Hartford and Waterbury’s Hopeville Elementary School.

CEA-SP members from all chapters have been working to collect books for months. They’ve left boxes in local businesses and asked for donations from friends and neighbors.

Central Connecticut State University student Bryanna Novak-Rich, the incoming chair of her school’s CEA-SP chapter, said the future educators came up with the idea for the drive at one of their monthly meetings. One of CEA-SP’s missions is to do out reach to schools and students. The organization has also recently sponsored a school beautification project at Hopeville Elementary School in Waterbury.

Novak-Rich was excited by the success of the drive and hopes CEA-SP can continue to sponsor events like this.

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