Kids Make Mugs for The Bean, and Money for Their School Library

The Neighborhood School libraryThe Neighborhood School The library in the Neighborhood School.

A local school’s library narrowly avoided the chopping block this year, and now The Bean is hosting a fundraiser to help get a head start on the next inevitable fight to keep it open.

On May 23 students from the Neighborhood School will sell raffle tickets, art and lemonade at the coffee shop on Second Avenue to benefit the library and its librarian. Cafe customers who buy travel mugs with art designed by students will get free coffee refills for a week, and The Bean will match the money raised by the students by up to $1,000.

“It’s been great to see community businesses jump on board and say it’s something they want to support,” said Amy Richards, a parent at the Neighborhood School with kids in kindergarten and the third grade.

THE_BEAN_NYTLEV_008Noah Fecks The Bean.

Ike Escava, an owner of The Bean, said that he became familiar with the school after first- and second-graders brought him notes in support of The Bean after it had to move to a new location following the arrival of a Starbucks.

“They showed us tremendous support,” said Mr. Escava. “When we heard they were in trouble we knew we wanted to get involved.”

Earlier this month, the Neighborhood School raised the $40,000 necessary to keep a librarian on staff and the library fully operational for the following school year. Other local businesses, like The Standard East Village, the Landmark Sunshine theater, and Cooper Craft and Kitchen chipped in cash and raffle items to help the school reach its goal.

But the struggle for funding isn’t going to end anytime soon. In addition to the event at The Bean, a fundraiser at the Laugh Lounge on Essex Street is planned for tomorrow. According to an e-mail from parents at the school, they now need to raise $40,000 each year to keep the library open, as well as $36,000 a year to keep the art program in place.