State Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, announced plans to initiate a children’s book and school-supply drive next week to help replace materials destroyed by flooding at W. J. Murphy Elementary School in Round Lake Park.
The school’s library was badly damaged by flooding this month.
Yingling said Friday afternoon the drive is scheduled primarily for Monday through Friday of next week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but that his office will continue to accept donated books until the start of the school year.
Donations of new and gently used children’s books may be dropped off at Yingling’s constituent services office located at 1919 Route 83 in Round Lake Beach during those days and times.
“Natural disasters are devastating to any community,” Yingling said in annoucing the drive. “It is heartbreaking to see our neighbors suffer and lose property and personal items. Seeing the Murphy Elementary library completely underwater hit a nerve with me.”
Shelia Duhon, executive director of operations for Round Lake Community Unit School District 116, has described the estimated $2 million damage at Murphy School as devastating, and said the library is “a total loss.”
Yingling said “libraries are the backbone of any community, and our children depend on their school libraries to explore, learn and expand their horizons.”
Yingling is requesting that no old encyclopedias, National Geographic or other magazines be donated.
All donations will be given to District 116’s administrative office at 884 Nippersink Road in Round Lake.
The district is partnering with Bernie’s Book Bank for help with sorting, collecting and distribution of books collected.
“I am confident that our neighbors will join together to rebuild the communities that we love and call home,” Yingling said.
He also said that if residents do not have books to donate but would like to donate personal care items, bottled water or other items in need by residents affected by the floods or volunteers, they may also drop those items off at his constituent services office.
“We will ensure that your donation goes to an organization helping residents of Lake County,” Yingling said.
More information on the book drive is available by calling Yingling’s office at 847-231-6262 or sending an email through firstname.lastname@example.org.
School district officials have said they are on a fast track to open Murphy School on time on Aug. 21.
Nonetheless, contingency plans are are being lined up for possible mobile classrooms, absorbing some students into other Community Unit School District 116 schools or busing students to a nearby school district, officials said.