Arroyo High School Receives Barona Education Grant

By Anne Donofrio-Holter
August 29, 2013 • 331 views

El Monte -

Thanks to a nomination from California State Assemblyman Ed Chau, the Barona Band of Mission Indians has awarded a $5,000 Barona Education Grant to Arroyo High School for the purchase of new books for the school’s library.

“To help adolescents enter the adult world, our library needs books,” said Tim O’Rourke, Arroyo High School head librarian.  “Reading for pleasure is a sure way to advance literacy.  When students read for pleasure, they acquire, involuntarily and without conscious effort, nearly all of the language skills many people are concerned about in our student population and obtain, at the very least, adequate levels of literacy.”

According to O’Rourke, “in El Monte, students’ parents typically work multiple jobs leaving students alone and trying to find ways to occupy their time.”

“Arroyo’s library is a safe haven,” he said.  “Reading for pleasure is a safe form of play and our library’s highest demand is for reading materials interesting to the teen reader.”

To help students and teachers identify high interest books that students will enjoy reading, the library has created a special classification known as “fun books.”  Arroyo High School will use the Barona grant to add to this collection.

To interest students with a wide range of English language skills and different levels of literacy, the new books will include subjects such as fantasy and adventure, sports and games, romance novels, self help and how-to books.

“The staff and students of Arroyo High School thank Assemblyman Chau and the Barona Band of Mission Indians for this generous grant and for giving our students the opportunity to choose from new books for their reading pleasure,” said O’Rourke.  “Thank you also to district grant writer Martha Schrin for spearheading the application process.”

“Our goal is to build strong educational opportunities for the children of California as we have with the children at the Barona Indian Charter School,” said Clifford M. LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians.  “We are truly proud to consider ourselves California’s Education Tribe.”

“We are very grateful for the efforts of Assemblyman Chau and to the Barona Band of Mission Indians for this grant which will help promote literacy and the encourage reading among our students,” said El Monte Union High School District Superintendent Nick Salerno.

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