Booking Agents: Funds being raised to replace books at flooded school library – Eagle-Tribune

HAVERHILL — Two city schools are coming to the aid of the Consentino School library after it was destroyed when a pipe burst in a room above. School officials said the flooding ruined thousands of dollars of books among other things.

Students at Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School are raising money and collecting books for Consentino. The J.G. Whittier School across town is donating some of the money it raised during a recent fundraising event.

The Haverhill Education Foundation is also helping. It had already purchased several thousands of dollars in new books for Consentino just prior to the flooding. But all of them were destroyed and now the HEF is starting over.

“We’ve been told it’s a total loss,” said Tina Fuller, treasurer of the Haverhill Education Foundation, which had raised the money by writing letters to businesses and other foundations.

Just prior to February school vacation, the HEF was making plans to thank local businesses and foundations for donating $4,000 to purchase new books for Consentino. 

Volunteers had prepared thank-you stickers recognizing the donors and left the books in boxes in the library to be entered into the catalog system. 

Then several days later, while students and staff were on vacation, a heating unit sprang a leak and the library along with $3,627 in new books were destroyed along with several thousand existing books. The new books ranged from science to non-fiction to biographies for students in grade three through eight and story and chapter books for younger children including Newbury award-winning books.

For a year, the Haverhill Education Foundation and the after-school Discovery Club at Consentino collaborated on a community service project to upgrade the Consentino library’s reading materials. 

Fuller said the effort was in response to a lack of sufficient library books for elementary school students who had been moved to Consentino over the past several years from the Tilton Elementary School.

During the winter and spring of 2015, Discovery Club students made posters and placed boxes throughout the city to collect used books. 

In just a few months they had amassed more than 3,000 gently-used books.

Consentino’s library aid entered them into the catalog system while facilities director Tom Geary arranged for a crew from the Trial Court community service program to repaint the library in lively colors. 

Fuller said the Haverhill Education Foundation wanted to do more, so its volunteers sent out fundraising letters to local businesses and foundations and raised $4,000 to purchase new library books. 

“We surveyed teachers at Consentino to find out what kind of books they wanted for their students,” Fuller said. 

Kate DiBurro, library media specialist at Golden Hill, helped select and purchase new books.

Just before the recent February school vacation, HEF and Discovery Club volunteers inserted stickers recognizing donors into the new books and were making plans for a donor reception. Then disaster struck.

“Needless to say, $3,627 worth of brand new books were ruined in the flood,” Fuller said.

Students at Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School are now raising money to help replace some of the books that were destroyed.

Parent Allison Dawkins said her two daughters, fifth-graders Madison and Victoria and six of their friends obtained permission from their principal John Mele to hold a drive for books and monetary donations. 

“They planned it and created flyers,” Dawkins said about the students involved in the drive. “The kids placed book donation boxes in classrooms and a donation jar in the main office.”

They began their drive on Feb. 29 and will hold it until March 11. Dawkins said their monetary fundraising goal was already met with the help of a grandparent of one of the students involved in the drive and who donated $500 for new books.

Mele said Whittier Middle School recently hosted a “Wrestling for Reading” fundraiser and its principal, Brian Gill, generously donated $1,000 to help purchase books for Consentino’s library. 

In addition, Consentino’s PTO is collecting Box Tops for Education and all proceeds will go directly to purchasing books.

“I’m not surprised at these efforts as this is a very giving and supportive community,” Mele said. “This is what people do to help their neighbors in need.”

“If we end up with a surplus, we can have children take books home and we can donate to other organizations in need of books,” Mele added.

Monetary donations to purchase new books can be made to the Haverhill Education Foundation at P.O. Box 1864, Haverhill, MA 01831 or at 

Box tops can be mailed to: Consentino School PTO, 685 Washington St., Haverhill, MA 01832. Box tops can also be dropped off at the school.












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