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ORLANDO – Some of the county’s school libraries here recently got a much-needed shot in the arm to replace outdated books and stock bare shelves thanks to a generous $500,000 donation from Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union. At a Nov. 12 ceremony, CFEFU President/CEO Joe Melbourne presented a check for $10,000 each to seven elementary, two middle and one high school to help refurbish shelves and buy computer equipment and software. Deemed “low-performing” by the state for their low scores on a statewide curriculum test, the schools are in desperate need of more reading materials, Melbourne said. Melbourne was moved to act by a series of Orlando Sentinel articles on outdated and dilapidated books at many of the county’s schools. “We felt compelled to get those old books off the shelves and get the children reading new books,” Melbourne said. “These children are our future.” This year, the credit union focused on those schools it felt had the greatest needs, Melbourne said. Another 10 schools will be selected next year, another 10 the following year and so on, until a total of 50 schools have each received $10,000 to boost their media center collections. “We’re just overwhelmed,” said Debbie Marlowe, Hungerford Elementary School’s media specialist. “We’re so appreciative, because we couldn’t have done this by ourselves. The more-and better-materials we have, the better readers our students will be.” “It’s a wonderful thing,” agreed Carol McCrea, media specialist at Jones High School here, which also received a check. “And for books.that’s exactly what we need.” Orange County School Board Chairman Rick Roach praised the credit union for its commitment to schools and students. “This donation is called stepping up to the plate,” Roach said. “This is a company that said `We realize that you have limited resources, and we’re going to make a difference.’”

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