“I’ve always believed we plant seeds during our lives, in the things we do, though we may not see them bear fruit,” says Jacqueline Figueroa, reading and creativity promoter. At the inauguration of the renovated New Hope library, she says, “I got to see the impact we can have.” Former students at the celebration, now sixth graders, reminded her of reading activities they had done back when she was their preschool teacher. The students recounted dressing up as storybook characters and taking imaginary voyages to outer space.
Back then, the students were just starting their education, and Jacqueline worked to spark their minds and instill a love of books that would encourage their reading skills in first grade and beyond. Now, these students have reached their last year of elementary and are preparing for junior high.
A nurturing place for learning
The seeds planted by teachers like Jacqueline will continue to grow among the brightly painted walls, gleaming tile floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows illuminating the renovated library, completed on February 26. The space will be a solid place for the students to come research and study during secondary school.
Originally built as a mechanics shop, the old library was always considered a temporary option until a permanent space could be built. It had few windows, and dust seeped in from the garage doors. Now, the doors have been replaced with broad windows painted by a local artist, adding color and beauty to the space. It is a pleasant and inviting space to spend time. Violeta Lopez, library promoter, has already noticed an uptick in students coming to study.
The sixth graders face a tough transition to seventh grade, similar to the one they faced starting elementary. The library will be a vital resource for their studies. It seems fitting that Jacqueline was there to rekindle those early memories and promote resources and skills they need to be successful.
The project was completed thanks to the contributions of many. Bud Ryan and friends gave a generous donation that helped fund the renovation. Board member Kathy Paden’s Vision Team painted the walls. Local artist Alejandra Flores volunteered her time to decorate the windows. Thanks to all who had a hand in this project.