Sunday, July 19, 2015

Raleigh apartment complex bans kids’ reading program (while allowing ice cream trucks)

Hopefully, by the time you read this, the management of the Grand Arbor Reserve will have seen the light. If not, please contact them and the corporate owner, Landmark Apartment Trust, to point out the errors of their ways.

According to a front-page story in the Saturday Raleigh News and Observer, teachers from the Lacy Elementary School load up their cars once a week with donated books and take them to two nearby apartment
complexes. (Originally, three complexes were involved but one has since closed.) The point of this volunteer program, created six years ago, is to keep kids reading during the summer vacation months. The teachers read to groups of children and the kids are able to borrow books for a week at a time.

Robert Willett photo, News & Observer
Lacy Elementary School teacher Catherine Stelpflug helps students
Jamille Jarett, 9, and Aniya Drake, 8 select books.

One of the apartment complexes they serve is the Grand Arbor Reserve which recently told the teacher volunteers that they couldn’t return because “a company policy forbids any event at the complex unless it is sponsored by the corporate owner, Landmark Apartment Trust.”

Jeannette Steele, regional director of Landmark, said, “This new policy serves to protect the interests of our residents and the property owner,” adding that Landmark is “exploring other ways to support this very noble cause.”

Well, DOH! Here’s a suggestion, Landmark: Why don’t you sponsor the bookmobile and volunteer teachers and, while you’re at it, kick in a few bucks to buy more books for the kids who use and love the program. (After all, you can afford to do so, having announced your initial public offering (IPO) in May. You expect to raise $375,000,000 and that would pay for a lot of books.)

If you’d like to express your views, here’s contact information for the Grand Arbor Reserve: It’s at 2419 Wycliff Road, Raleigh, NC 27607. Phone 919-238-7165; fax 919-783-0514; email:

Landmark Apartment Trust Co. of America can be reached at phone: 813-281-2907; email: The CEO is Stanley J. Olander and the corporate offices are at 4901 Dickens Road, Suite 101, Richmond, VA 23230.

And, while you’re at it, shoot a thank-you e-mail to Mechelle Hankerson, the News and Observer reporter who broke the story:

1 comment:

  1. I just watched a silly video where Miss America contestants were asked, "Should we keep math in schools?" The answers were outrageously stupid. My comment there and here is the same--"This is a joke, right?" Thanks for posting this and the email addresses and phone numbers of people who can help!