Before losing Bill Shea last summer, the School Committee named the Thompson School Library after him. When the school opens next September, supporters would like to see that library well stocked.
To ensure that, those who worked with Shea in many community organizations in which he served over the years have organized "Books for Bill," a campaign to raise money for the effort.
There are seven contribution levels, ranging from $49 and less to $10,000 and above. All contributors will be recognized at a "Books for Bill" event next spring.
Mail donations to Liza Halley, 94 Grafton St., Arlington, MA 02474. Checks should be made out to Town of Arlington with "Books for Bill" donation, Thompson School noted on the memo line.
Expressing the feelings of those involved, Sheri Baron wrote:
This past summer we lost a very beloved member of our community. Shea had long-served Arlington as a member of Town Meeting, the Arlington Human Rights Commission and the Permanent Town Building Committee, among many other civic and cultural pursuits. Bill was a champion for our town’s school system, as evidenced by his tireless advocacy and work on rebuilding Arlington's schools.
Bill was an avid reader, and a firm believer that education, particularly reading, could make a critical difference in the lives of young people. He often cited The Little Engine that Could to motivate young and old alike.
Last spring, the Arlington School Committee honored Bill with their decision to name the Thompson School Library after him. He was humbled by their decision. Bill would, however, be dismayed to learn that the Thompson School Library is the least well-stocked of the seven electuary schools in town.
The elementary school libraries are funded solely by the PTO and school sources. There is no funding from the School Department and as a result, there is not parity among the seven schools with regard to their offerings. The Thompson School serves the most diverse part of our community.
Author Stephen King once said, "Books are a uniquely portable magic." We believe Bill would be thrilled to know that the Thompson School's students will be surrounded by that magic on the bookshelves of the Bill Shea Library when it opens in the new Thompson School in the fall of 2013.
All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Committee members are:
John Cole and Clarissa Rowe, co-chairs
This story was published Monday, Dec. 3, 2012.