American Education Week has come and gone. This week, observed since 1921, spotlights the importance of community support for public education. And a lot of programs like Principal for a Day which gave more than 120 county leaders a chance to see how they can help support public education, took place around the county.
The Norcross Woman’s Club, however, had been aware of this concept and had been supporting public education for over a decade before the government declared this special week.
• What: Norcross Woman’s Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar
• Where: Norcross Woman’s Club, 65 N. Peachtree St.
• When: Dec. 4, Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Cost: Adults, $12.50, Children, $6.00
• Information: Call Gay Shook at 770-446-2364
The club, founded in 1905, started the first library in Gwinnett County in July 1907 with 300 books, all donated by members, in a small room in a public school. Through generous donations from Norcross residents, a permanent library was built in 1921 at 65 N. Peachtree St.
The building still stands with its original shelving and hardwood floors. It is still filled with books, mostly the used variety which NWC sells as a fundraising project for the many causes they support, including the Norcross Cooperative Ministry, Norcross Boys and Girls Club, Annandale Village, and Gwinnett Hospital’s Care-a-Van. And of course, much of their financial support goes to local schools, Norcross Elementary School, Stripling Elementary School and Norcross High School orchestra and band programs.
But members go far beyond the building to support education in their community. President, Suzi Chaapel, a former librarian, said that NWC members volunteer at the library at Norcross Elementary School, checking books in and out, shelving books and doing whatever odd jobs are needed to make the library as education-friendly as possible.
This year, NWC has added another cause to their list: its own building. “We have a gas heater and the gas company cut it off because it was no longer meeting code,” Chaapel said.
NWC cannot use the old library in its current condition, part of the proceeds from this year’s Christmas Luncheon and Bazaar will go toward making the building part of the community again.
The sit-down or take-out meal is inspired by the movie “Julie and Julia” and will feature Julia Child’s beef burgundy. Bazaar items are geared for Christmas shopping and include jewelry designed by local artists, Bath Salts by Leigh Broschat, creations from the Berkeley Lake Artists Group, cookies, crafts, homemade soaps, and of course, books.
In keeping with NWC’s century-old tradition of supporting our schools, they will be featuring a string quartet from the Norcross High School Orchestra. Coryn Wilson, first violin, Antonio Gonzalez, second violin, John Cooper, viola, and Javon Deans, cello, will be entertaining guests with yuletide favorites while making the public aware of what an outstanding music program their orchestra leader, Juana Alzaga, is conducting at a Gwinnett County public school.
Susan Larson is a freelance writer who lives in Lilburn. E-mail her at email@example.com