It’s a staggering statistic – More than one-fourth of Oakland public school libraries are closed.

“The schools that have highly qualified libraries and librarians, those children benefit from the parents that understand how important it is to have a library in their school,” Kari Hatch, the executive director of the nonprofit Friends of the Oakland Public School Libraries, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

We know this is true at Claremont, where parents, teachers and the wider community have long supported the school’s library.

But now our library needs your help. The Claremont PTA is running an end-of-year fundraising campaign to make sure we can keep our library open and staffed for next year.

So far, we’re doing great – $6,356 has been raised by donors to the online donation site YouCaring and donations made by check totaling $2,800 brings the campaign close to the halfway mark. The goal is $20,000. Thank you everyone who has donated!

We can do this but we need to double our efforts. Every donation no matter the size helps.

Go here to learn more about the fundraising campaign, “Open Books, Open Minds.” Contribute, and reach out to friends, family, neighbors and colleagues asking them to help us reach our goal. See below for a sample email.

Go here to hear the voices of Claremont students about what they like about the Claremont library. “I like books, I like every book,” said Xavier Robertson, a 6th grader. “I like this library because if your book is overdue, they give you a pass, but others might charge you.”

Students like Xavier and others at Claremont know that the library is making a difference in their lives. And that’s backed up by some research.

“Studies show that school libraries impact student literacy, especially for students of color who come from disadvantaged neighborhoods,” writes Chronicle columnist Otis R. Taylor, Jr. “When there is an active library in their schools, those students perform better on standardized tests and are much more likely to graduate.”

So please give! And ask your friends and families to donate as well!

Questions? Contact Amy Golden,, or John Ifcher,



Dear Generous Friends and Family!

As you may know, our children go to Claremont Middle School, a public, district-run middle school, located in Oakland, CA, with a diverse student body that includes students from all over Oakland. They have had a wonderful, enriching experience there. Unfortunately, as I am sure you are aware public school funding is not what it used to be; and California is ranked 41st in the nation in per pupil spending. Hence the need for fund raising and this email appeal. Any amount you are able to contribute to this campaign will be greatly appreciated. To help click on the following link:

Thanks in advance for your consideration!