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Hampton/Shaler

Blessed Trinity Academy writes a new chapter for its library

| Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, 1:33 a.m.
Murals depicting characters from classic books such as “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” adorn the library walls.
Murals depicting characters from classic books such as “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” adorn the library walls.
Second-graders Claire Bandurski, Hailey Glass, Savannah Vogel and Sara Pomietto are excited about their school’s new library.
Second-graders Claire Bandurski, Hailey Glass, Savannah Vogel and Sara Pomietto are excited about their school’s new library.
Murals depicting characters from classic books such as “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” adorn the library walls.
Murals depicting characters from classic books such as “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” adorn the library walls.

Blessed Trinity Academy’s library was filled with thousands of books and periodicals. It also had a lot of issues.

Over the years, the room became more of a storage facility and less of a learning environment. The clutter continued when three North Hills regional Catholic clementary schools — St. Ursula, St. Mary and St. Bonaventure — merged in 2017 to form the academy.

But, thanks to a year-long community effort, the library is now worth writing about.

Since last fall, an army of volunteers, including staff members, students, alumni, parents, local librarians and area residents, have been sorting through the stacks, discarding outdated tomes, donating salvageable ones and re-organizing shelves.

Bare walls now boast beautiful, hand-painted murals. Students can relax and read on new couches. The literary collection has been labeled, cataloged and digitized on state-of-the-art computer equipment.

Blessed Trinity, located on Middle Road in Glenshaw, houses about 220 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Last week, many of them got their first glimpse of the updated library. The children entered the room with wide eyes and big smiles.

They flocked to the shelves and frantically flipped through books written by their favorite authors.

“It looks better. I like that it’s more colorful,” second-grader Callie Kandravy said.

The school was able to purchase new titles through a yearly endowment from the Mary Ellis Schmitt Memorial Library Fund and a grant from the Shaler Area Rotary.

Donations are still needed to buy more furniture and introduce programming, such as Read Across America. The school will host the Scary Skedaddle, a Halloween-themed 5K, at 9 a.m. Oct. 27 to raise funds. Students who donate a dollar to the library earn the right to ditch their uniforms for a day and wear their favorite outfit.

John Novak, who has taught in the building for more than a decade, is awestruck by the transformation.

“It’s going to help me tremendously with small group work,” he said. “The gears are already turning in my head about what I can do there.”

Kristy Locklin is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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