Bank donation boosts Meneley’s water-damaged library |

Bank donation boosts Meneley’s water-damaged library

by Scott Neuffer

Rainfall and a leaky roof can’t quell the lifting power of books, not with community partners like City National Bank.

On Wednesday, bank officials presented a $2,500 check to Meneley Elementary to bolster the school’s library with new books. Last spring, passing rainstorms precipitated leaks in that area of the building resulting in the permanent damage of approximately 50 texts.

“Basically, whenever schools contact us, we try to step forward,” said City National Senior Vice President Paul Stowell. “Literacy, when it comes to books, is our No. 1 priority in our educational outreach. It’s the future of communities, of the country. If the next generation isn’t literate, how will they become the business and community leaders of tomorrow?”

District Chief Financial Officer Holly Luna put the cost of the damaged reading materials at $600. Meneley has suffered sporadic leaks during the wet season ever since a new roof was installed by State Roofing in 2007.

“It’s more of an irritant than something on a massive scale,” Luna said. “Some staff members made it clear the books were in need of replacement, and they generously offered to generate money for the library.”

It’s not the first time City National Bank has stepped up to the plate of literacy in Douglas County. Their Reading is the Way Up program has donated thousands of dollars and books to Meneley and other schools throughout Nevada. The bank also has awarded funds through their literacy grant program.

In fact, Meneley is one of 10 elementary schools in the state the bank has adopted, which translates into not only financial support, but reading, mentoring and volunteer support as well.

“The bank really cares,” said City National Nevada Regional Executive Larry Charlton, “and it’s really nice to be working around people who want to do this.”

The bank’s donation Wednesday came on the heels of a $500 contribution the Rotary Club of Minden made to the school after the leaking incident.

“It’s a generous gift, more than appreciated,” said Meneley Principal Becky Rugger, the first day on the job. “We’re tight right now, but we’re still pushing, still teaching, still doing the best we can with what we have.”

Stowell said private-public partnerships will only strengthen in the face of ongoing budget struggles.

“With problems in the state and the budget issues they’re having, schools now have to look elsewhere to get those additional funds,” he said.

“It’s always good to have that solid partnership,” Rugger added.

Like Stowell, Rugger believes literacy is the foundation of education.

“You have to read to succeed,” she said. “It’s all about learning how to read. Books are a treasure.”