Campus: San Diego State University -- July 18, 2003

SDSU Educational Collaborative Opens Unique Children's Bookstore In City Heights

Initiative Aims to Boost Literacy for Children of Mid-City Via Affordable Books

San Diego State University announced today the opening of R.E.A.D. (Reading, Education, Achievement and Development) BOOKS next door to the SDSU City Heights Community Center.

The store, conceptualized by students in SDSU’s College of Business entrepreneurial program and run by the City Heights Educational Collaborative, offers an array of literature for children of all ages at discounted prices. The bookstore is being operated under and through an agreement with Aztec Shops.

“From an educational perspective, we realized that the City Heights community can benefit greatly from the addition of a bookstore,” said Ian Pumpian, executive director of the City Heights Educational Collaborative. “Now there is a venue where area children and their parents can meet, read, and purchase books at affordable prices to further develop their literacy skills at home. As importantly, R.E.A.D. BOOKS is a place where educators can come and purchase books for their classrooms and professional libraries.”

Popular book titles, such as the Harry Potter series, are discounted from 20 percent to 50 percent off original cover prices. R.E.A.D. BOOKS relies on book donations and alliances with retailers to sell books at a discount.

R.E.A.D. BOOKS specializes in certain kinds of books, from children’s literature to materials for young adults to classroom resources. The store accepts school purchase orders and offers discounts to teachers as well. A special section of foreign language titles will be available including Spanish, Somali and Vietnamese bilingual books to help meet the diverse needs of City Heights and its surrounding communities.

According to Chuck Korkegian, R.E.A.D. BOOKS’ director, Mid-City residents are delighted to have this new resource. “It’s been a little more than a week since the store opened, and there is already a group of kids coming daily to read books. People are really surprised to see us here, pleasantly surprised.”

Korkegian also said the store will occasionally host readings and other special events for kids and parents. The store’s first “read-aloud” session for young children took place this morning at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Dozens of kindergartners from the Rosa Parks Kinder Annex listened to a reading of “Clifford the Big Red Dog” in their pajamas. R.E.A.D. BOOKS is located at 4275 El Cajon Blvd., just west of the intersection of Fairmont Avenue and El Cajon. To learn more about how to donate books or to find out about upcoming store events, contact Chuck Korkegian at 619-594-3098 or ckorkegian@projects.sdsu.edu.

The City Heights Educational Collaborative is a joint effort between San Diego State University, the San Diego Unified School District, and the San Diego Educators Association and supported by Price Charities. Under the collaborative, SDSU manages three schools in the City Heights neighborhood and works with the community to create and maintain additional support services and opportunities that enhance the education and development of area youth.

CONTACT: Jennifer Zwiebel, SDSU Marketing & Communications
(619) 594-4298, (619) 242-1365 pager, jzwiebel@mail.sdsu.edu


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