At least 500 new books were added to the library of the Dandan Elementary School yesterday after first lady Josie Fitial turned over the items as part of a donation that the First Lady's Vision Foundation hopes to replicate at other public schools.
The turnover ceremony was held in front of the school's 520-some students during the school's flag-raising ceremony yesterday morning.
Fitial said the books were actually provided by mainland-based Scholastic Publication at a very low cost. The books donated include When an Elephant Comes to School, David Goes to School, How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night, The Wildest Brother, The Quilt Makers Journey, The Door of Time and Cinderella, among many others.
Fitial hopes to attract more sponsors who will help the foundation donate more books to all public schools in the CNMI.
“I hope we can continue to do this for other schools. We need sponsors,” she said. “I hope you'll like the books and would have the time and energy reading them.”
She assured the children that the foundation would be exploring more ways to help public schools.
DES principal Jonas Barcinas, Women's Affairs director Remy Buniag, public information officer Catherine Perry, and Municipal Council member Angel S. Hocog joined the first lady during the event.
Buniag said the donation was the foundation's first on Saipan. It has already delivered books to a public library on Tinian and the Sinapalo Elementary School on Rota.
Hocog assured the council will help find sponsors so that other schools on Saipan will also obtain more books.
Barcinas thanked the foundation for its generosity and said the donation would save the Public School System some of its textbook funds, which could then be redirected to other operations expenses.
Before the end of the ceremony, Barcinas told the students that they could get free books when they read at least 100 books throughout the school year.
The foundation has tentatively chosen the Oleai Elementary School as its next beneficiary.