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The Neighborhood School Hosts the Save the Library Fundraising Marathon


As you may know, thanks to a perfect storm of budget crises on both the federal and local levels, our library is on the chopping block. The moment we learned that we could no longer afford to keep our library and wonderful librarian Cheryl, our kids leapt into action. They sold string bracelets and lemonademade videos, contributed their spare change. One student donated the money she’d been saving to buy an American Girl doll. Thankfully, thanks to our families, friends and neighborhood businesses like The Standard, East Village; The Bean; and McNally Jackson Books, we managed to preserve the library for one year: 2012-2013.

But our fight’s just beginning. Nowadays a school in which 40% of the students are eligible for free lunch is no longer guaranteed “extras” like a library or art. We now have to raise $40,000 for the library every year, in addition to the $60,000 our PTA already raises for classroom supplies, school-lunch improvement, supplementary math and science programming, a school garden, staff development, recess equipment and more. Our art program, too, lost its funding in 2012 — we have to raise yet another $40,500 to preserve that. This is the new reality. It’s up to us and to our friends in the community. So we welcome your continued support for our library and our beloved librarian Cheryl, who fosters kids’ lifelong love of books and reading.

Who Needs a Library?

Research indicates that having a school librarian is strongly correlated with student achievement, and the less wealthy the school, the stronger the correlation. Our school is 40% Title I, but the cutoff to receive Title I funding is 60%. This means we are already stretched to our limit trying to raise funds for “essentials”…but we need a library too!

We’ve had terrible budget cuts for three years running. We’ve cut our Reading Recovery program, our half-time math coach, our half-time literacy coach, our full-time assistant principal (now we have no assistant principal), our Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Projectcoaching, all our wonderful teachers professional development contracts and all discretionary paraprofessionals in kindergarten classes. We’ve reduced the number of classes participating in arts residencies, reduced the length of arts residencies and cut supplies money to the bone. We’ve made no new furniture or major curriculum purchases in two years. We’ve increased class size in every grade. There’s nothing left to eliminate. Yet the cuts keep coming.

Only eight years ago, parents at TNS worked their butts off to get this library built. A parent designed it; many of us then and now volunteer in it. To lose our librarian and access to a school library would be disastrous. (A bit of perspective: $40,000 is what one year of private school costs in NYC. And it’s what will save a library that serves over 300 students a year.)

How You Can Help

You can use your credit card or PayPal to contribute using the form above. Donate in honor or in memory of someone who valued books or education. Donate in your own name or in your organization’s name. Donate anonymously if you choose. All contributions are tax-deductable, because the Neighborhood School PTA is a 501c3 charitable organization. Contributions in excess of $40K will roll over to the following school year. The need isn’t going away. You can donate online or by check; checks should be made payable to: “The Neighborhood School PTA” (in the memo line, indicate “for the library”) and mailed to:

The Neighborhood School
Attn: PTA Treasurer
121 East 3rd Street
New York NY 10009

Thank you so much for supporting childhood literacy and fostering a lifelong love of reading!

“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.”
— Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)

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