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Life and Arts

Burbankers Bowl for Books

“The very best thing about a school library is that everything is purchased with the student in mind and every student in the school has access to it,” said Laura Tooley who serves as the librarian for David Starr Jordan Middle School. “We provide them with the books they need to complete school projects, books to help them grow and think, and books that encourage them to keep reading and learning. To do that, funds are always needed to help us continually provide up-to-date books and technology.”

In an effort to provide Tooley with those much-needed funds, Jordan students, parents, teachers and supporters stepped up to the plate, or more accurately, to the foul line, of the bowling lanes at Pickwick Bowl to raise money this past week.

Billed as Bowling for Books, the fundraiser’s chairwoman, Suzanne Weerts asked people to give a little of their “spare” time to “strike” up support for the school’s library fund. “In this time of budget challenges for our nation’s schools, our libraries are often losing out on the funds they used to expect to have for updating and replacing old or damaged books,” said Weerts. “The Jordan PTA knows that empty shelves don’t fill minds. Seeing that need, we stepped in to help the library purchase new and relevant books.”

Assisting Weerts with the event were Jordan’s PTA President Karen Hohman-Almeida, Principal Stacy Cashman, teachers Harvey and Doreen Wydra, Pickwick Bowl manager Bryan Alpert and Jordan PTA Treasurer Teresa Marasek. Others whose help made for a successful day included Wayne, Becky, Nicky and Sam Tipton, Michelle Klebba and Jamie Griffin, Maddie Weerts and Zoe Carino.


According to Weerts, students and parents from over 50 families joined the school’s staff members for the event that saw over $1,200 rolled into the library’s coffers. Among those in attendance were Carrie and Anna Brown, Michael Kalisz, Haze Martin, Britta Good, William and Paul Guglielmo, Michelle Lowder, Tod Himmel, Alex Lowder-Himmel, Elijah Castro and Ian Uvas.

The event also encouraged various organizations and individuals from the Burbank community to make donations including the Burbank Sunrise Rotary Club, Steven Heimbold of Reality Check Systems and Burbank Unified School Board members Debbie Kukta and Dr. Roberta Reynolds.

As a part of the Jordan PTA’s ongoing fundraising programs, Weerts is also actively campaigning for community support to see the school selected as a recipient of the Kris Wine Art of Education program grant.

Established last year by the boutique wine company, the program will award 16 schools in the United States a total of $25,000 to improve academic achievement through arts education. Weerts said that from now until Nov. 30, supporters can visit the Kris Facebook page (https://apps. to cast their vote for Jordan.


“We really need the money to help fund arts programs in our school,” said Weerts who encouraged members of the community who are at least 21 years of age to cast one vote per day throughout the duration of the program. The school that receives the highest number of votes will be awarded $5,000 with the next five top vote getters receiving $2,000. Schools that rank sixth through 16 in total number of votes will receive $1,000.