The following is a Letter to the Editor from Sheri Baron on behalf of the "Books for Bill" Committee.
This past summer we lost a very beloved member of our community. Bill Shea had long served Arlington as a member of Town Meeting, the Arlington Human Rights Commission, and the Permanent Town Building Committee, among many other civic and cultural pursuits. Bill was a champion for our town’s school system, as evidenced by his tireless advocacy and work on re-building Arlington’s schools.
Bill was an avid reader, and a firm believer that education, particularly reading, could make a critical difference in the lives of young people. Bill often cited “The Little Engine that Could” to motivate young and old alike.
Last spring, the Arlington School Committee honored Bill with their decision to name the Thompson School Library after him. He was humbled by their decision. Bill would, however, be dismayed to learn that the Thompson School Library is the least well-stocked of the seven elementary schools in town. The elementary school libraries are funded solely by the PTO and school sources. There is no funding from the school department and as a result, there is not parity among the seven schools with regard to their offerings. The Thompson School serves the most diverse part of our community.
To ensure that the new library is well-stocked when the school opens next fall, a group of people who have worked with Bill in many community organizations in which he served have organized a “Books for Bill” campaign. There are seven contribution levels, ranging from $49 and less to $10,000 and above. All contributors will be recognized at a “Books for Bill” event in the Spring of 2013.
The author Stephen King once said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” We believe Bill would be thrilled to know that the Thompson School’s students will be surrounded by that magic on the bookshelves of the Bill Shea Library when it opens in the new Thompson School in the fall of 2013.
Kindly mail your donation to Liza Halley, 94 Grafton St., Arlington, MA 02474. Checks should be made out to Town of Arlington with “Books for Bill” donation, Thompson School noted on the memo line.
Online donations can be made through the Arlington Community Education homepage at www.arlingtoncommunityed.org
If you are interested in joining the “Books for Bill” committee or would like further information, please contact either John Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org (781-641-0791) or Clarissa Rowe at email@example.com or 781-643-3156.
All contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
For the “Books for Bill” Committee
John Cole and Clarissa Rowe, co-chairs