Book donation bolsters Meneley library |

Book donation bolsters Meneley library

by Scott Neuffer

At a surprise assembly on Wednesday, students of Meneley Elementary School had to guess how many books were donated to their library courtesy of City National Bank and Barnes & Noble.

As students filled the air with excited guesses, eyeing the children’s books displayed on the stage, City National Senior Vice President Paul Stowell kept saying, “higher!”

The final number came down to 600 books, or half the total generated during a holiday drive at the Reno Barnes & Noble in December. Dodson Elementary School in Reno received the other half.

It’s the second year the two companies teamed up as part of City National Bank’s Reading is the Way Up literacy program. While customers of the bookstore made the donations themselves, City National matched what customers spent.

Therefore, Stowell handed Meneley Principal Becky Rugger a check for $4,000.

“The only thing I love more than shopping is everyone in this school, so this is the best day ever,” Rugger said. “Mrs. Deadrich (librarian) and I are going to have a blast. Get ready Barnes & Noble, here we come!”

“Literacy is the key to success,” Stowell explained to students. “Literacy is the key that unlocks the door to your future.”

Carolyn Rodriguez, director of the literacy program, said the overall effort entails much more than just dropping off books.

“It’s important the children see people in the community investing in them,” she said. “This is about relationships.”

Rodriguez asked students what they want to be when they grow up.

“You’re going to be running the businesses, the banks, our country,” she said. “So it’s important for us that we help invest in your future. And the way we do that is to provide you with the tools to be successful.”

Caddie Dufurrena, Barnes & Noble community relations manager, thanked City National Bank for their partnership.

“We look forward to partnering with them again next year as we continue to increase the number of new books we donate to our local schools so children have the opportunity to develop a love of books and reading,” she said.

Fifth-grader Jonathan Tobias, 11, was excited about the donation.

“It was cool getting new books and more,” he said.

Classmate Dakota Maiden, 12, agreed.

“It’s nice getting new books, so we don’t have to read the same books all over again,” he said.

This year, the holiday book drive included 15 Barnes & Noble stores in Nevada, California and New York. A total of 10,000 books were donated nationwide by Barnes & Noble customers, and City National Bank donated another $50,000 worth of books, for a total of more than 20,000 new books in three states.

City National launched Reading is the Way Up in April 2002. Since then, the program has donated more than 80,000 books to school libraries, awarded more than $300,000 to teachers at elementary, middle and high schools for creative literacy projects, helped open 20 new elementary school libraries through its partnership with The Wonder of Reading in Los Angeles, and raised more than $275,000 in charitable gifts from colleagues and clients through its Reading is the Way Up fund.

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