By Ukee Washington
CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — At the Early Learning Resource Academy in Camden, toddlers read quietly, but down the hall, there’s a flurry of activity to build those children a brand-new place to read.
“So here we have our shelves, our couches, our beanbags, our nooks,” explains volunteer Lana Donahue, who is helping build a new library destined to be filled with books. It’s donated by the PNC Foundation in their program called Grow Up Great.
“This day we have about fifteen employee volunteers who worked before today to sort of figure out where we would be, buy the materials,” says Jean Canfield, PNC senior vice president.
Prof. Bonilla Santiago, founder of Leap Academy Charter School and Early Learning Research Academy, says, “Oh my God, this is a dream come true for us […] and for the children, because it’s so difficult to fund-raise dollars to build a library.”
This is the sixth library PNC has built. PNC Foundation estimates it has donated $100 million to causes like this in the last 10 years, and it plans to do more than double that in the next 10 years.
They also give PNC employees 40 hours a year of paid time off to volunteer in approved projects like this one. The library will be filled with donated new books, also from PNC, and open by the end of the month for the kids.
Volunteer Lana Donahue says, “I hope they see a colorful, fun-filled space where they can take advantage of all the resources we’re going to stock it with.”
The library will have a ribbon cutting on Monday, April 30th, 2012.