LA HABRA : Publishing Company Gives Schools Books

A local book publishing company has delivered nearly $23,000 worth of textbooks free to the La Habra City School District in an effort to form an "alliance for learning" that will promote the books and help the schools, officials said.

The district had ordered $16,469 worth of English-as-a-second-language textbooks, but the owners of Ballard & Tighe Publishers, who live in La Habra, gave the district $39,000 worth of books.

"The schools and businesses in the community should have mutual support like this," Board of Education President Morrison M. Clements said. "It is important to see business partnerships with the schools for the improvement of the product, which means the improvement of the kids."

Ballard & Tighe President Dorothy Roberts said the authors of the books, who normally would collect royalties, and the salespeople, who normally would collect commissions on the sale, gave up their earnings to help the school district as well.

Roberts co-owns the publishing company with her husband, Kent, a former La Habra councilman who grew up in the city.

"This is our way of giving back to the community through education," Dorothy Roberts said. "As publishers, it's a good way of helping the teachers and children because schools have less and less money available these days to buy learning materials that are going to improve the students' scores."

District Supt. Richard A. Hermann agreed, saying he was thankful for the extra books.

"It's really a good deal because (the books) are materials that we ordinarily would buy anyway," he said. "But what we ordered wouldn't have served all the kids."

The district ordered 525 textbooks and received 1,575. The books cover 225 English and social studies lessons for kindergartners through eighth-graders who speak little or no English.

Roberts said the publishing company chose to help La Habra schools first and hopes to do the same next year for about 20 other school districts throughout the country where students who have limited English-speaking skills are enrolled.

"This really helps business because we'll have better educated students when they get out of school," she said. "They are the future."

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