Congressman Tonko delivers 50 books to FFCS from Library of Congress

students sort books
Library Club members sort books from the Library of Congress.

Fonda-Fultonville Central School District accepted 50 new books from the Library of Congress on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The books were delivered by U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, who is connecting schools to the Library of Congress Surplus Book Program.

“The books are a welcome addition to our libraries, which were just renovated over the summer as part the district’s capital project,” Superintendent Thomas Ciaccio said. “We are very appreciative that Congressman Tonko could help us put more books into our students’ hands.”

“Congratulations on your desire to learn, congratulations on being part of a great product here at Fonda-Fultonville,” he said. “For all of you as students, you need to know that outsiders recognize you to be a champion school system. You do it with great passion for learning and great passion for the students who are the products here.”

The books are valued at more than $700, and were hand-selected by the congressman’s staff based on recommendations from Fonda-Fultonville School Library Media Specialist Lori Mead. The books range from STEM and agriculture materials to picture books and chapter books.

Every day the Library of Congress receives more than 20,000 items, but only about half of the material is retained for the library’s permanent collection. The remainder is designated for donation through the surplus book program. Members of Congress have the opportunity to provide these surplus materials to schools, libraries and educational institutions.

Congressman Tonko said some of the books are exclusive materials that can’t be bought in stores, such as the government issued-agriculture books that Fonda-Fultonville received.

Student members of the middle school and high school Library Club were on hand to accept the donated books, including Morgan Hickey, MacKenzie Christman, Julian Louscher, Bridget Will, Paige Polikowski, Viktoria Lee, Dylan Altemus, Zachary Lewandowski, Illyria Escher, Hunter Fosmire and Ashley Glode.

Students in the high school Participation in Government and 9th Grade Academy classes also welcomed the congressman. They took the opportunity to chat with him about current events, local issues and the congressman’s work in government.

“The conversations our students had with the congressman are invaluable,” Ciaccio said. “I hope the students talk to their parents about the things that he shared with them. I think that’s the real value in having the congressman come here today.”