MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Richard Merkin, President & CEO of Heritage Provider Network, dedicated the new library at the Richard Merkin Middle School and Gertz-Ressler High School in a ribbon cutting ceremony December 2, 2011. This is the first library to open at any of the Los Angeles Alliance for College Ready Public Schools, all the more critically important since budget cuts in California are forcing public libraries to close.
Joining Dr. Merkin in the ceremony was Brian Reynolds, sponsor and contributor to the Brian and Patricia Reynolds Library, Judy Burton, President and CEO, Alliance for College Ready Public Schools, actress Jamie Gertz and her son Theo, supporters of the Gertz-Ressler High School, Donna Jacobson, Principal, Richard Merkin Middle School, James Waller, Principal, Gert-Ressler High School, Lisbeth Cuevas, RMMS student council President and Jonathan Ruiz, GRHS student council President.
"Without having a library, without having the opportunity to check out books at your own school, we are short changing our students and the future of education for them in our country," said Dr. Merkin. "I'm dedicated to ensuring these educational opportunities to as many young people as I can," he continued. "This library is the first one in any of the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles and I want this to be the model to roll out to all the rest of the Alliance middle schools and high schools in the city. It is up to us to create this opportunity for our students, given our state is cutting budgets for education and closing libraries."
"This library changes the lives of all the students here. They are serious about their school, serious about their studies," said Brian Reynolds, Founder, Chatham Capital, library contributor. "They didn't have books before in a library on campus and now they have a quiet place they can sit and develop themselves. I'm pleased to join Dr. Merkin in this important effort."
The Richard Merkin Middle School is a free, public charter school, developed and operated by the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools and authorized by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school, serving 6th-8th graders, opened in September of 2005, is located near downtown Los Angeles and provides students with a safe, supportive learning environment promoting academic excellence and college readiness. (www.merkinms.org)
"This library is not only a very special place, but also another way to help us realize our dream of getting our kids ready for college," said Judy Burton, President & CEO, Alliance for College Ready Public Schools.
"Knowledge is power, and is one of the mottos in our family," said Jamie Gertz, actress, library supporter. "I know we share this motto with Dr. Merkin as well. Books open up so many ideas and places, some of the best stories I tell as an actor come from books." Her son, Theo Ressler, generously donated $10,000 to the library, money he received from gifts at his Bar Mitzvah.
"We are deeply appreciative of Dr. Merkin for his ongoing support of our school community," said Donna Jacobson, Principal, Richard Merkin Middle School. "As our state is devastated by budget cuts, his commitment to our schools allows for the comprehensive education our kids truly deserve."
"The library is one the best things to ever happen to our school. We have never had a library, and having one will improve our learning," said Lisbeth Cuevas, RMMS Student Council President.
"Video games are not the way, books teach you important things that you need to know in the future. Reading is fun," said student Joshua Caceras.
Jonathan Ruiz, GRHS Student Council President agrees. "I feel a passion for books, now I don't have to go so far to a library to get a good read, now I can get one at my own school."
Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) is on the cutting edge of the accountable care model of health care delivery: coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated health care systems that represent the future of health care in the United States. HPN develops programs and services that are responsive to the healthcare needs of today's patient. HPN designs its networks to offer patients a comprehensive range of medical care in convenient locations. It organizes and manages medical groups and independent practice associations, integrating with hospitals and ancillary care providers. This system represents a workable, successful business model that has been duplicated with medical groups, IPAs and medical facilities throughout California. HPN is dedicated to quality, affordable health care and putting patients' wellness first. (www.heritageprovidernetwork.com)
SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.