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Gresham-Barlow high school students will phone community to help stock school libraries

COURTESY PHOTO: GRESHAM-BARLOW EDUCATION FOUNDATION - During the evening of Wednesday, March 4, high school students from the Gresham-Barlow School District will call on friends and neighbors to make a donation for books.

Phones will be ringing all over Gresham during the evening of Wednesday, March 4, as high school students from the Gresham-Barlow School District call on neighbors to make a donation for student literacy.

"Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation's annual Phone-a-Thon will provide significant funding to purchase district-wide library books from diverse authors and titles from a wide-variety of perspectives," the foundation said in announcing the night of fundraising.

This is the 18th year of the phone fundraising effort.

A big donor to the district, Gresham-based Tokola Properties has donated $12,700 to kick-off the effort and is challenging the education foundation to meet or exceed that donation. 

The foundation cited Rudine Sims Bishop, a multicultural education scholar, and her explanation that books act as mirrors where students can find themselves, their families and their community. Books with characters similar to the reader help to convey a sense of belonging and value. 

But multicultural books are also valuable to children not pictured in the books. They broaden their understanding of other cultures.

Books that act as windows help students develop a greater understating of a wider world and helps them understand how they might fit in, the foundation said in the announcement.

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