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Letters (4/13/05)
The Readership

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RE: Please help support the Lea School Library and Garden

To the University City Review:

The recent letter by Joan Sage reminds all of us of the significant role public school libraries have played in the education of many great leaders of our country. I would like to mention a Garden Court Community Association (GCCA) project for the K-8 Lea School at 47th and Spruce Street. Under the leadership of Dr. Vivianne Nachmias, chair of the GCCA Education Committee, a fund has been initiated to support the Lea School Library and Garden. 'Dr. Vivianne,' as the students call her, initiated a Book Fair for the youngest children at Lea. Once a year, each child is invited to select a brand new book which is read to them by a community volunteer. The child writes his or her name in the GCCA stamp in the book, and the child assumes ownership of the book.

The Library and Garden fund was opened with a generous personal gift from Dr. Judith Rodin, former President of the University of Pennsylvaina, because she wanted to see the Library and Garden continue at Lea. We would like to take this opportunity to invite the community to contribute to the Lea Library and Garden fund. The Library plays a central role in the on-going revitalization of Lea School. It is a large, light-filled room with round tables, large stuffed animals for little children to sit on while they are read to, a rocking chair and shelves of bright new books of all sorts and levels. The Librarian, both excellent and dedicated, planned the room and trained Assistant Librarians (8th graders) to check books out, help children find books and use the computers, e.g. for Science Projects. All year long, children come in classes or individually, to read or to have someone read to them, to borrow books, and enjoy the calm. Teachers come too! The fund will help buy new books and replace old favorites.

Vivianne has also maintained a Garden at Lea for 5 years, with some help from students. The fund will be used to provide reliable care of the Garden, both now and in the future. Also, Lea now has a Head Start program, and the teacher is enthusiastic about using the Garden for the preschoolers. We would like to provide equipment for them such as a water table, a sandy place, a bird feeder, more places to sit, plant and dig. This protected space offers our city children an exposure to the wonders of Nature.

Your contribution can be mailed to: Garden Court Community Association, c/o Stephen Metraux, 4648 Hazel Ave. Philadelphia PA, 19143

If you would like to join the Education Committee or participate in the Book Fair, contact Vivianne Nachmias at, or phone 215-748-4689.

Vivianne T. Nachmias,
Chair, Education committee of GCCA
Jackie Tanaka
Recording Secretary, GCCA

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