A ribbon cutting ceremony was held today at Central Primary to commemorate a Reading Oasis donated by Northstar Lottery Group, the private manager of the Illinois Lottery, in collaboration with Scholastic. The Reading Oasis will serve both Central District 51 schools (Washington) to help promote literacy and provide a safe, nurturing environment within the school for students and parents in an area devastated by tornadoes last November.
"Northstar is honored to be able to make a difference in this community. Washington was tragically affected by the last fall's tornado and we want to help them rebuild," said Tim Simonson, president and CEO of Northstar Lottery Group. "Although this is a small gesture, it is a step closer to making this unwavering town whole again."
"More than 100 Central students are still displaced as a result of the tornado that destroyed 500 homes and damaged 600 more. Central Schools are located one block from the center of the tornado's path and incurred approximately $150,000 in damage to the school buildings and property. This contribution will certainly contribute to the healing process," said Dr. Chad Allaman, superintendent of Central District 51. "We have displaced students located in seven different communities and their parents either drive them to school or place them on district buses each day to make sure the children get to and from school safely. This Reading Oasis will give parents a chance to take some time out of their day to bond with their children over a good book. All of us at Central District 51 are grateful to Northstar for this gift."
Northstar's donation includes more than 1,200 books for students and their parents to enjoy, and well as furniture to create a comfortable setting. GTECH Corporation, Northstar's parent company, helped make this contribution possible by matching Northstar's contribution.
Today's ceremony took place during Central District 51's Reading Under the Stars event where parents accompanied their children for a night of reading and fun activities in Central Primary's gymnasium. Scholastic surprised students with an appearance by Clifford the Big Red Dog. Scholastic also provided Klutz Build-a-Book kits to 300 students to make their own books, and conducted a raffle for four complete Wimpy Kid book series value packs.
Northstar will also donate $5 book vouchers to every student at Gifford Elementary school in Gifford, Illinois – another area hit hard during last year's tornado season. These vouchers will enable children to purchase books of their choice at Gifford Elementary's upcoming Scholastic Read and Rise Book Fair.
Since July 2011, when it officially became the private manager of the Illinois Lottery, Northstar Lottery Group has sponsored various charitable activities and has opened nine After School Advantage computer labs statewide in its ongoing commitment to community service.
Northstar Lottery Group
Northstar Lottery Group is a consortium of best-in-class companies with more than 50 years combined experience in Illinois. Northstar Group is led by a partnership between GTECH Corporation and Scientific Games Corporation.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children's media. Scholastic creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online at www.scholastic.com.
Scholastic Read & Rise Book Fairs
Read & Rise is a national literacy initiative of Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, that reinforces the practical things all families can do to ensure their children become strong readers and learners. Together, schools and families practice literacy skills to encourage a love of reading and promote academic achievement. For more information, visit www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/readandrise or visit the media room at mediaroom.scholastic.com.