WASHINGTON, Ill., April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A ribbon cutting ceremony was held today at Central Primary to commemorate a Reading Oasis donated by Northstar Lottery Group, the private manager of the Illinois Lottery, in collaboration with Scholastic. The Reading Oasis will serve both Central District 51 schools ( Washington) to help promote literacy and provide a safe, nurturing environment within the school for students and parents in an area devastated by tornadoes last November.
"Northstar is honored to be able to make a difference in this community. Washington was tragically affected by the last fall's tornado and we want to help them rebuild," said Tim Simonson, president and CEO of Northstar Lottery Group. "Although this is a small gesture, it is a step closer to making this unwavering town whole again." "More than 100 Central students are still displaced as a result of the tornado that destroyed 500 homes and damaged 600 more. Central Schools are located one block from the center of the tornado's path and incurred approximately $150,000 in damage to the school buildings and property. This contribution will certainly contribute to the healing process," said Dr. Chad Allaman, superintendent of Central District 51. "We have displaced students located in seven different communities and their parents either drive them to school or place them on district buses each day to make sure the children get to and from school safely. This Reading Oasis will give parents a chance to take some time out of their day to bond with their children over a good book. All of us at Central District 51 are grateful to Northstar for this gift." Northstar's donation includes more than 1,200 books for students and their parents to enjoy, and well as furniture to create a comfortable setting. GTECH Corporation, Northstar's parent company, helped make this contribution possible by matching Northstar's contribution.