Volunteers with the Lacy Elementary School bookmobile are looking forward to returning to the Grand Arbor Reserve apartment complex in West Raleigh after the property’s owner reversed its ban on the project.
“The teachers are ecstatic,” said Candace Watson, principal at Lacy.
Watson said it’s important for teachers and volunteers to reach Lacy students before they return to school Aug. 24. The bookmobile, which visits students once a week, aims to get kids reading during the summer months.
Lacy volunteers were told last month by Grand Arbor Reserve officials that they couldn’t return because only events sponsored by the owner, Landmark Apartment Trust, were allowed.
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Many people criticized the decision on social media, and Landmark announced Saturday that it would allow the bookmobile.
The project can return to Grand Arbor Reserve immediately, and Landmark will collect documentation that shows volunteers have been screened.
“We understand visits from third parties like the bookmobile create a sense of community, but it is essential that we perform our due diligence to protect our residents,” the company said Monday. “As we have done in the past, we will continue to ask unapproved third parties who visit the property unannounced to kindly provide proper documentation.”
Every volunteer with the bookmobile has already gone through the Wake County school system’s volunteer application process, which includes a background check, Watson said.
She said she has received calls of support from as far away as Fayetteville.
“It’s just been overwhelming how the community has reached out,” Watson said. “Everyone is just coming out to support what we’re trying to do.”