C's and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Unveil Library

ROXBURY, Mass. – The Boston Celtics unveiled a state-of-the-art library powered by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) Friday afternoon at Ellis Elementary School.

The newly refurbished library is a product of strategic visioning sessions held with local leaders in education and representatives of both HMH and the Celtics. Together the group created a versatile space aimed to provide a new-age approach to learning.

The space is quipped with computers donated by the Timothy Smith Network, new books, mobile shelves and tables, a comfortable reading corner fully furnished with replica parquet rugs and basketball beanbag chairs. The area is also encompassed by Celtic green paint and graphics inspired by HMH’s most beloved characters Mary Poppins and Curious George.

Additionally, a smart TV was added to the room to enhance the connectivity of the computer lab. The aura in the room inspires curiosity and collaboration.

To tip-off the unveiling, in his first community appearance as a Celtic, guard Jerryd Bayless joined HMH Chief Content Officer Mary Cullinane, Principal Tolbert and students of the Ellis School to explore the new space.

Leading the way Principal Tolbert thanked the Boston Celtics for their support and hard work and showed great gratitude to HMH for focusing their efforts toward the Ellis community. She encouraged the students in attendance to continue to be leaders in and out of the classroom and to use the new library during their educational pursuits.

Admiring the students’ eagerness to interact with the innovative tools, Cullinane announced, “Be curious, wonder about things and always believe that you can find the answer.”

With the youth ready to break the binding of one of 500 brand new books donated by HMH, Bayless wasted no time settling down to begin reading, one of his favorite hobbies as he shared with the group.

“I read for at least one hour a day,” Bayless said. “There is always something new out there you can learn.”

Students intently listened as Bayless, Cullinane and various members of their peers took turns reading aloud.

Following the story, Bayless posed the challenge to the student to utilize the new space to their full advantage.

Bayless proclaimed, “To get better at anything in life you need to practice! Within this library are new tools to explore the world around you.”

To help show the youth how computers could open the door to new skills Celtics Senior Manager of Community Relations, Dave Hoffman, had the students work on articles as if they were reporting for Celtics.com.

Along with the assistance of Bayless, students vigorously typed away reflecting back on the transformation of the library and the events of the afternoon.

“Think about the who, what, when, where, and why of the day,” instructed Bayless. “Try to paint an image of today’s events to your reader.”

Just one glimpse around the room and one thing was apparent as the afternoon came to a close: with just a little TLC and dedication from local community partners, a room has transported students of the Ellis into a world of wonder and inquisitiveness.

Before exiting the room Bayless left the children with one final stamp of advice writing, “Read Every day,” with his autograph on the wall above the door.

“You all have a great opportunity here, take advantage of it,” he said. “One thing you can never have taken from you is your mind!”

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