- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2006

CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — Money to rebuild school libraries was more than welcome, but it was the unexpected gift that brought officials at Chalmette High School to tears: a full set of Life magazines, dating back to 1936, to replace a set destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

“There’s no amount of money you could put on that collection at this point. It’s an unbelievable gift,” principal Wayne Warner said.

The gift was made last week following an announcement that 10 Gulf Coast school libraries were receiving rebuilding grants from the Laura Bush Foundation. The first lady looked on as Time Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ann Moore handed St. Bernard Parish Schools Superintendent Doris Voitier a copy of the first issue of Life, dated Nov. 23, 1936, and said more were on the way.

“I need you to take care of this,” she said. “There aren’t that many copies left in our archives.”

School officials hadn’t known it was coming, Assistant Superintendent Beverly Lawrason said.

“It made me cry,” she said.

The library at Chalmette High, which opened in the 1930s, had subscribed to the magazine from the start and kept each copy.

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