Former Foxboro Public School Superintendent Debbie Spinelli was honored at Taylor Elementary School for her lifelong dedication by a special and thoughtful surprise gift.
A dedication ceremony for the Debbie Spinelli Little Free Library was held last week at Taylor Elementary School.
“I presented this idea to the PTO last spring and they made it happen,” said Danna Collins, a reading specialist at Taylor Elementary School.
Collins came up with the idea and she thought it was important to honor Spinelli’s hard work and legacy in Foxboro, where she still lives and raised her children.
“I believe this gesture allows families in town to take a book or leave a book and foster a love of reading that will last for generations. As a fellow lover of reading, I am excited to see kids enthusiastic about sharing books and getting books to take home,” said Collins.
Collins said the PTO funded the project and Moira Rodgers, principal of Taylor School, purchased the books that each class donated and presented to Spinelli on Friday.
“We at the Taylor are extremely excited to honor Mrs. Spinelli in such a way that also benefits the town and promotes reading for children and adults,” said Collins.
“Last year Danna mentioned during one of our PTO meetings that she wanted to see about having a lending library in Debbie Spinelli’s honor at Taylor. And we all thought it was a great idea. I immediately thought of my friends Diana and Jim Chalmers for this project,” said Becca Leonard, PTO President at Taylor Elementary School.
She said having a little library at the school in Spinelli’s honor is a beautiful tribute.
“Not all kids enjoy recess every day. And to have a spot for them to go and escape in a book for a bit seemed like a wonderful idea. And now I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful idea that has been made a reality. I just think it is such a great little spot,” said Leonard.
“I was so surprised, I had no idea what was happening. My family just told me to get in a car we are going somewhere. I didn’t know anything about it at all. Total surprise,” said Spinelli.
She added, “I can’t tell you how touched I am and how meaningful this is because the best part of my life in my career was teaching young children how to read. It’s a joy, books are joy they still are to me.”
The former superintendent said she can’t think of anything better to be able to have kids come by and borrow from the Little Free Library with her name on it at the school her children attended.
“I just want to thank everybody who put thoughts and effort into it. It’s a great joy for me,” said Spinelli.
Jim and Diane Chalmers helped build the free library from scratch.
Diane said she knows Becca Lenoard who asked them if they would be willing to help and build.
“We were so thrilled when it was finished what it looked like. My husband and I constructed this from scratch and it took one month and a half,” said Diane who added finishing touches such as flashing lights and painting of the letters.
PTO board member Hasel Patel, whose sons both attend Taylor School, said the project brings back many memories and thinks it is a great dedication to Spinelli.
“Kids are going to really enjoy it. What a great tribute to her,” said Patel.