View Quadangles Print Version →


 

Read Class Notes Online →

 

Browse CLASSPICS

 

 

Past Issues →

 

 

 

subscribeOnline picture

 

 

Advertise with Us →

 

 

Bookmark and Share

 

 

subscribeOnline picture RSS feed

 

Paula Norton Madriles ’71

Books are Gems

Near the U.S.-Mexico border, in the south valley of El Paso, is a bookstore that has given away almost half-a-million books since its inception, spreading literacy and a lifelong love of reading to as many children as it can.

Paula Norton Madriles founded this 501(c)3 organization in memory of her daughter, Grace Elizabeth Madriles (hence GEM in the store’s name), who died in an automobile accident in 2002 at 16 years of age. Today, Grace’s love of reading and her brilliant smile are surely reflected in the happy smiles of children—proud readers who can select up to five free books a month at BOOKS ARE GEMS.

Initially, Paula, then an elementary school teacher in South El Paso, bought the books at yard sales and thrift stores. Eventually thousands of books were donated. GEM’s GEMS became BOOKS ARE GEMS. In 2010 the store moved to its current location where Paula now works part-time. Community volunteers—75 to 100 at any one time—help sort, pack, stock, and transport the books.

Books in the Children’s Bookstore are always free. Proceeds from new and used books sold in the General Bookstore (paperbacks for $1, hard covers for $2) are used to purchase more books to give away to children.

A teacher may select 25 children’s books for the classroom and take unlimited materials from the Teacher Resource Center that includes professional teaching literature, teacher’s editions, textbooks, and supplemental and “math manipulative” materials.

Community schools and agencies frequently distribute BOOKS ARE GEMS books to children at health fairs, parents’ days, teacher-training days, and even at baseball games.

In partnership with community institutions, the bookstore runs reading camps in June and July where children can work with well-trained tutors on programs specifically designed for them. There’s also a story hour on Saturdays.

Learn more about this inspiring literacy outreach project on the Web at booksaregems.org

—Sally Adams ’66, M.A.‘68

One comment to “Paula Norton Madriles ’71”

  1. Cindy Limbird comments:

    I was a tutor at one of the Summer Reading Camps this year for Books Are GEMS and I was amazed at the progress my students made in a month. I beleive the boost that was given has sent these students on to be successful young readers. This is all thanks to Books Are GEMS! This organization runs on a shoe string budget and would welcome any donation! Way to go Paula! <3

    --Posted: August 18th, 2013 at 8:24 am

Leave a Comment

Most comments will be posted within 24 hours of submission.

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

Web Extras

Scholar-Athlete Spotlight

W. Alton Jones Campus — By the Numbers

The President’s View

The State of College Affordability

Features

To Henley in Regatta Style

Designs on Unassisted Living

Dredging up Global Solutions

Alex & Ani: A Vital Force in Rhode Island

Mehul Sheth is Flying High

Big Moments in the Woods

News & Views

A Perfect Match: Student-Athletes Help Save Two Lives

Empowering Palliative Care Givers in Romania

National Media Authority Heads Harrington School

College Memories Vivid for 100-year-olds

One for the Book!

The Art of Teaching

Students Host Political Boot Camp

Big Discovery of Little Dinosaurs

Press Box

URI Alumni Reach NFL

Football Captain is National Scholarship Finalist

Shoniker, James Continue Hoops Careers

Cameron Makes a Strong Impression With U.S. National Team

Mackal, Keaney Get Facelifts

Class Acts Profiles

David A. Todd ’74

Paula Norton Madriles ’71

Elaine Mack ’58

Juliette Nash ’06

Mary Earle Larsen ’04

Michael Lobdell ’96, M.A. ’10

Back Page

Built From Westerly Granite

Alumni Chapters →

Wrapups

Big Chill Weekend 2012

Alum of the Game

Upcoming Events

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

Come Back to your Alma Mater

Three Inspiring Days for Writers




QuadAngles © 2014 URI Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of Publications and Creative Services for the URI Alumni Association, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-2242 | Contact Quadangles