Skip to main content

MB News

Leadership Manhattan Beach Announces 'Book Zone' Project

Mar 01, 2024 08:01PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo via Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School, via Leadership Manhattan Beach.

The Leadership Manhattan Beach Class of 2024 has unveiled its new "Book Zone" project to create small classroom libraries at a predominantly lower-income local high school that currently has no library.

This year's group effort, formally known as "The Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School Book Zone Project," is aimed at bolstering the South Central charter school's Empowered Reading Program.

The Leadership Manhattan Beach class has committed to providing six classrooms with Book Zones - reading areas including comfortable seating, bookshelves, and age-appropriate books in English and Spanish.

The project will also create a Parent Resource Center with chairs, tables, books and other literature to help educate parents in finance and budgeting, communicating with their teens, life management, and higher education information. If fundraising allows, parent education seminars can be offered on site.

Leadership Manhattan Beach is seeking donations from community members and businesses to meet their financial goal to make the project a success. (The group is seeking financial donations, not book donations, because they are working with the school's curriculum specialists, who are providing a list of desired/needed books.)

About Ánimo Ralph Bunche High School

Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School is a school of about 600 students in South Central Los Angeles. For many of the school's students, English is a second language. Students typically enter in the lowest 10% of academic proficiency; Ánimo Ralph Bunche focuses on accelerating student learning and closing the achievement gap.

Although many of its students start at an academic disadvantage, the school is one of the best charter schools in the state, with a 70% success rate of students being accepted for area and national colleges. It has made US News & World Report's Best High Schools list for both national schools and charter schools. The teaching staff is committed to preparing every student for college, leadership, and life.

One area where the school is lacking is in books. The high school estimates that students from affluent communities have access to eight times as many books in their classrooms as students from Ánimo Ralph Bunche. That's why the school's administrators have made comfortable and welcoming reading areas with a variety of books are a high priority. The school's Empowered Reading program creates specific periods dedicated to reading books, dramatically increasing students' comprehension and academic achievement.

LMB Now In 30th Year

Celebrating its 30th year of community outreach and service, Leadership Manhattan Beach is a 501c(3) non-profit that offers a comprehensive leadership program to educate and develop future leaders. Each year the organization selects 22 individuals from the community, including seniors, business leaders, volunteers, and high school students.

Participants learn more about city departments, community involvement and philanthropic opportunities. Techniques learned in Leadership Manhattan Beach training are put to immediate use in the creation, selection, and execution of an annual group project. All project donations are tax deductible.

The 2024 project, like the one in 2023, marked part of what has been a move away from in-town projects. Whereas past Leadership Manhattan Beach projects have addressed local wishes such as refurbishing the Manhattan Beach Santa Float, creating a new mural, and installing bicycle fix-it stations in town; the 2023 project looked outside Manhattan Beach to establish a food pantry for single parents at the Richstone Family Center in Hawthorne.

For more information on this year's project, email [email protected].

Subscribe to MB News Emails * Don't Miss a Thing, Sign Up Today!

* indicates required
Email Format