The Oakdale Teachers Association recently donated approximately 20 books overall to elementary school libraries recently in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District in memory of former teacher and administrator Pam Antinetti.
“Pam Antinetti always honored a birth of one of her friend’s or staff’s (children) with a book being donated to her school library in their honor,” said Sierra View Elementary School teacher Penny Muniain. “If there was a death, she remembered the family member by donating a book to her library and then she sent a card to the teacher, friend or relative to let them know about her gift. It was very special to those receiving a book.
“I made the suggestion that we continue this custom and it would allow Mrs. Antinetti’s memory to be shared, discussed and passed on to younger students at several of our elementary schools.”
The OTA chose to donate books in Antinetti’s memory to each elementary site because most of her career took place at the elementary school level. Muniain said that many OTA members worked with Antinetti in teaching and then worked for her when she became an administrator.
Sierra View librarian Gwen Schmitt said that OTA representatives asked her for a list of books, and in turn, she asked close friends of Pam Antinetti what some of her favorite books were. From that, Schmitt created an appropriate list to choose from, which included newly published books and some classics as well.
The books include themes that talk about manners, self-esteem, the environment, recycling, safety, vocabulary development, and more. The reading levels of the books ranged between kindergarten to junior high age appropriateness.
“Our library is five years old now, and with the current budget constraints we have struggled to find ways to fill our library shelves,” Schmitt said. “They are a bit fuller from fundraisers and generous donations, but this donation will be a special addition to our library as it represents the love of reading that a wonderful woman instilled in each one of her students.”
Personal inscriptions were also written on the inside of each book.
“Pam believed that books could be used to share precious memories from the heart,” Muniain said. “She used them for reflecting on memories as well as relationships.”
Local optometrist Dr. Lee Scaief is also accepting books at his office to be donated in Antinetti’s memory to the local elementary school libraries from community members. A list of appropriate titles may be picked up at Dr. Scaief’s office. The books should have a positive, appropriate theme, without political or religious references and be for the elementary age reading level. A note may be placed in the book as to which school will be the beneficiary and a personal dedication may also be included.
Anyone interested in donating books may also contact Muniain via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.