DETROIT (WJBK) - Students at a Detroit elementary school have a new space to learn, read and just relax.
J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy in Detroit has a new library, thanks to a contest from the Detroit Pistons and Farm Bureau Insurance.
Their new Pistons-themed library is being unveiled on September 21 during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony with with Pistons personalities present.
Sixty five schools from 16 cities in Michigan entered the contest. J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy was selected as the winner. The school hasn't had a functional library since experiencing overpopulation, and had to sacrifice the library to hold classes and house administrative personnel.
The school's old makeshift library was dark and dingy, and was made up mostly of carts with books stacked on top.
"This school went seven years without a quality library, but now we really have brought education and basketball together because it looks like a locker room in here right now! But, it's books inside all of the lockers," says Earl Cureton, a retired basketball player who now serves as Community Ambassador for the Detroit Pistons.
Cureton adds that he grew up on the east side of Detroit, and loves to see good things happening to the east side of the city.
"The most important thing to us, and what we think is the greatest value of this whole thing, it's all about bringing hope. So, when you think about school teachers, principals, about children that don't have a chance to dream ... if we can bring hope to a student where, all of a sudden they, too, realize they can dream beacuse there's people that care about them all across the state -- that's an important value for us," says Vic Vechereau with Farm Bureau Insurance.
Farm Bureau Insurance and the Detroit Pistons have teamed up for the past five years to bring makeovers to deserving Michigan schools.
The Detroit Pistons have renovated 33 facilities as part of the NBA's Live, Learn and Play Program at schools, shelters, and hospitals in Michigan to date. The J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy library - complete with new technology, shelving and Pistons themed graphics and decorations - will be the 34th facility renovated through the program.