Eagle Scout community project benefits Harlandale ISD

Eagle Scout community project benefits Harlandale ISD
Posted on 08/30/2019
Eagle Scout community project benefits Harlandale ISD

Harlandale ISD will receive seven mini libraries this new school year, thanks to an Eagle Scout project led by teen Christopher Cortez.

The idea stemmed from Christopher’s desire to help make a difference in the community and support the district’s initiative to promote reading beyond the classroom.

Harlandale ISD Interim Superintendent Samantha Gallegos supported the project early on and was excited to see the first mini library completed at Central Office. Her face lit up as she took a few moments to examine and appreciate the hard work that Christopher put into creating his design.

“I’m excited. The libraries will give our kids more options and more access to find books within their neighborhood,” Gallegos said. “Christopher has done an amazing job in building them, and we’re honored that we’re part of his process of becoming an Eagle Scout.”

This was no small project for Christopher, and he credits his mother Gloria Ramirez, who is also a Harlandale employee, for helping him complete it. She expressed her happiness to see how her son’s vision is now a reality.

“I loved this idea from the beginning. I think it’s important to teach our kids to give back,” she said. “We hope that parents, teachers and students throughout the district enjoy the libraries. There’s some really nice books in there.”

The entire process took about three weeks beginning in June. Christopher valued the process, even working under the hot sun and during the weekends. He feels proud to have completed his project just before his birthday, July 19.

“It was a lot of labor and a lot of love,” Christopher said. “I can’t be happier to see all the libraries complete and put together – it’s a great feeling.”  

Students and parents can also visit a library located at the entrances of Morrill Elementary School and Gilbert Elementary School. The remaining four will be decorated by students and will be installed at other elementary campuses this school year.

Each two-shelf library contains a wide selection of books in English and Spanish for all ages, which were donated by Christopher and Harlandale ISD Coordinator for Libraries and Instructional Materials Lisa Kulka. A notebook is also inside to encourage readers to leave a message of kindness.

Christopher hopes the project will inspire the entire community to read more.

“Many kids don’t have the money to buy books, so I hope that when they drive by and see these libraries, they can come to pick up a book, or leave a book, and just keep that going – and hopefully, that gets more people to read,” Christopher concluded.

A special ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate Christopher’s project is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 3 at Gilbert Elementary at 11:30 a.m.

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