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  • How A Blog Site In San Jose Helped One Oakland Family Center Get Their Books

    San Jose, CA (January 18, 2008)—Technology Credit Union and Oakland’s Garfield Elementary School will celebrate the credit union’s donation of a Bookcase Library to Garfield’s new Family Learning Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, January 23rd at 2:30 p.m. The press is encouraged to attend for photos and interviews.

    Tech CU’s donation to Garfield came about in an unusual way—through a community challenge the credit union issued in the summer launch of its new blog site. Titled the Community Change Project: What Would You Change with $1,000?, the campaign invited individuals to submit their ideas to the blog site for a project that would create social or environmental change in the Bay Area. Blog readers then voted for the project they felt should get the $1,000. The top-vote winner was a submission that suggested Tech CU donate the money to Bring Me a Book Foundation, an award–winning literacy nonprofit based in Mountain View that places bookcases filled with books in community organizations, shelters and classroom throughout the Bay Area.

    “This was a first-of-its-kind campaign for us, using our blog site to drive conversation within the community,” said Kathleen Litman, VP of marketing at Tech CU. “In the end, we were so impressed with the ideas we received, Tech CU decided to give donations to the top two submissions: inspiring literacy in children and planting trees in urban areas.” Litman says the urban planting project will take place this spring at Campbell and Willow Glen schools in partnership with Our City Forest.

    Donovan Cook, Director of Development for the Bring Me a Book Foundation, said he was pleasantly surprised by the call from Tech CU: “We didn’t know our organization was suggested as recipient of a donation until hearing from Tech CU.  And we are thrilled to be invited to collaborate in this ‘blog-initiated’ children’s literacy project. We’ve been working with Oakland Ready to Learn (ORL) for nearly three years on community-based literacy projects to benefit children and their families in Oakland.  The construction and furnishing of Garfield’s Family Learning Center with a BMAB bookcase filled with the best children’s books was suggested by Kerry Forbord, Executive Director of ORL I simply passed this terrific suggestion on to Tech CU when they contacted us about their proposed donation. Their $1,000 contribution will have an immediate impact, not only within the school but also within the entire Garfield Elementary School community”

    Garfield Elementary addresses the needs of one of the most diverse and under-served communities in the United States.  Despite challenges, the parents and the staff of the school’s Family Learning Center have been enthusiastically working to improve the quality of education for students and families in the neighborhood. The Center offers the community a clean, safe place for child-care, children’s activities, and parent/child pursuits. Tech CU’s Bookcase Library donation, filled with quality children’s literature, will help to encourage reading and inspire literacy among children and families in the area.

    What: Ribbon Cutting for The Family Learning Center at Garfield Elementary School
    Where: Garfield Elementary School, 1640 22nd St., Oakland, CA 94606
    When: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 2:30 p.m.
    Who should attend: Members of the press are encouraged to attend.
    Photo/Interview Opportunities:
    • A new, community–driven childcare and resource center for one of Oakland’s most diverse and under-served communities
    • Children and families sharing the resources of the center: books, educational activities and more.
    • Community and business leaders coming together for projects that support education and inspire literacy in children.
    • Real-world results of a social-network driven campaign to create community change in the Bay Area.

    Technology Credit Union is a full-service, financial institution serving individuals who work, live, go to school or regularly worship in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and San Francisco counties. Tech CU was started in 1960 and is now among the top 1 percent of the nation’s largest credit unions. With over $1.3 billion in assets, over 78,000 members and 10 full-service branches around the Bay Area, Tech CU is a leader in the credit union industry.