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U.S. Rep. Kelly, Markham school bond over books

U.S. Rep. RobKelly (middle) poses with students from Blunche Elementary Principal Carolyn Palmer (right) after donating books from Library Congress

U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (middle) poses with students from Blunche Elementary and Principal Carolyn Palmer (right) after donating books from the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. to the Markham school. | Terrance Peacock~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 10, 2014 6:33AM



Bunche Elementary School in Markham received a special gift Monday from U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-2nd).

Kelly received a special gift in return. At an assembly, Bunche students greeted Kelly with gifts, kind words and a motivational song stating that they are “members of the hall of fame” after Kelly donated brand-new books to the school, 16500 Park Ave.

Kelly said that although the books were given from her heart, she appreciated the gifts from the students.

“Of course they don’t have to give me anything; it’s just a joy for me to be able to bring them books and see the enthusiasm I get,” Kelly said.

Kelly said the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. has some duplicate books that can be given to school districts that apply for them. Bunche applied and was awarded the books.

Kelly said 60 or 70 books of various themes and topics were sent from Washington.

“Kids like all different themes so we tried to appeal to everyone,” Kelly said.

Friday will mark one year in office for Kelly, who said she since has donated books to four or five schools in her district, which includes parts of Chicago and suburban Cook, Will and Kankakee counties.

She said every time she donates books she receives a great reception from the schools.

“Schools are short on resources, and buying 60 to 70 books could be very expensive so everyone is always very happy and very enthusiastic when we come and bring those books,” Kelly said.

Bunche Principal Carolyn Palmer said she applied for the books in the fall and was notified about the award about two weeks ago. She said students were surprised to learn Bunche would receive new books.

“The kids are very excited about it because the kids love reading,” Palmer said. “We have to keep giving them more up-to-date books to read, and coming from the U.S. Library of Congress, they say, ‘Wow, that’s the big library,’ and they like it, and I’m happy for them.”

Palmer said not only is she happy for the school about the award, but she also is grateful that Kelly came to the school and personally delivered the books so the students could meet a politician.

“It means a lot for the congresswoman to come to this little, bitty school — we’re a diverse school — and be a part of these kids,” Palmer said. “These kids wouldn’t know what a congressman looks like, but to actually come in and be a part of and actually talk with the kids and let them see a real U.S. congressman is quite an honor.”



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