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Kids love their new library at P.S. 212!

Treyger cuts ribbon after $540,000 remodeling

GRAVESEND — Skye Garay, a fourth grader at P.S. 212, is an avid reader. But she said the library in her school wasn’t up to par. “It was kind of old. And the books were old, too. I don’t think the books really challenged us,” she told the Home Reporter.

Well, Skye got some good news on Friday.

P.S. 212 Principal Rina Horne welcomed Councilmember Mark Treyger, parents, education officials and civic leaders to the school to cut the ribbon to mark the re-opening of the library following a $540,000 renovation that turned the room into a state-of-the-art library and media center.

The revamped 1,000-square-foot-space now boasts a librarian’s service counter, book shelving for the school’s printed collection, a storytelling area, an IT area with four workstations, new laptop computers and a Smart Board. The facility contains new furniture and lighting fixtures.

Assistant Principal Helen Stern (left) and Principal Rina Horne (second from left) helped children unveil a banner to thank Councilmember Mark Treyger (right).

The comfortable, airy room, located on the fourth floor of the school at 87 Bay 49th St., is decorated with posters and artworks created by students as well as posters by adults promoting reading and a love of literature.

Sure, the old library had plenty of books on shelves. But it also had old lighting fixtures and always seemed to be dark, according to students and teachers.

Treyger, a Democrat representing Gravesend, Coney Island and parts of Bensonhurst, secured the funding for the ambitious renovation project in the city budget.

Horne said she hopes the new space will give children the chance to “develop a passion for research and reading.” The library, she predicted, will help “bring our school into the 21st century.”

Principal Rina Horne (left) and Librarian Emily Sabbatino show the computer mouse pads decorated by students.

Treyger, a former high school teacher who is chairperson of the Council’s Education Committee, said the goal of updating the library is to give the elementary school students a solid foundation that will carry them into the future when they graduate from college and start careers. “We have to help them compete in a more competitive economy,” he said.

The new library met Skye Garay’s high standards. “I really like it,” she said.

Emily Sabbatino, the school librarian, said she was pleased that the children already appear to be enjoying the new facility. “When they first saw the new library, I could see from their faces that they loved it. And it stirred their imaginations,” she told the Home Reporter.

Sabbatino recalled one kindergartener who looked up in amazement at the oval-shaped lighting fixtures and announced that they resembled planets in the solar system. “This was a kindergartener!” she said.

The library will offer P.S. 212’s students “the start of a lifelong journey in literature,” Sabbatino predicted.

Councilmember Mark Treyger was touched when he was presented with a giant thank you card.
The library is decorated with posters illustrating the importance of reading and writing skills. This poster, which focuses on re-writing, would do any news reporter proud.

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