Akin Gump Helps Washington, D.C., Elementary School Unveil State-of-the-Art Library

(Washington, D.C.) – On November 27, parents, teachers, students and members of the Washington, D.C., business community gathered at Tyler Elementary School in Southeast Washington for the unveiling and dedication of the school’s state-of-the-art library media center. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which has enjoyed a 10-year partnership with Tyler Elementary, contributed $50,000 to the project.

With the unveiling of the new space, Tyler’s students, teachers and parents now have access to more than 4,000 new books, 20 new Apple iMacs with wireless Internet connection, a story area, a group study area and more. Staffed by a certified library media specialist, the library media center serves as the educational heart of the school.

The new library is a product of the Capital Hill Community Foundation’s School Libraries Project, a public-private initiative designed to transform eight school libraries into vital learning spaces that will inspire students to learn and achieve. The Project has enjoyed tremendous support from the business community, including Akin Gump; Toyota; engineering, architectural and construction firms; and fundraising, public relations, graphic design and media experts, all of whom contributed significant financial and in-kind resources.

In addition, the District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) system has committed a nearly one-to-one match for every dollar raised by the Foundation for this initiative. Through a unique public-private partnership, DCPS has worked closely with the Foundation to manage the renovations and insure appropriate staffing of the new libraries.

At the November 27 dedication of Tyler’s new library, Dr. Ximena Hartsock, public-private partnership coordinator at DCPS, challenged the business community to enter into partnerships with area schools to further “our most critical agenda: educating the youth of the District of Columbia and preparing them for life success.“

Speaking at the ceremony, R. Bruce McLean, Akin Gump’s chairman, stated, “Ten years ago, Akin Gump joined forces with Tyler Elementary as part of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs’ Public School Partnership Project, whose initiative was to improve public education in Washington, D.C. — school by school, child by child. In the decade since, we have seen significant improvement in the quality of education at Tyler. We are particularly privileged to be integrally involved in the renovation of the school’s magnificent library, which will serve as a valuable resource for years to come, inspiring students and adults alike to learn, achieve and thrive.”

Stan Samorajczyk, co-chair of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee Public School Partnership Project and a partner at Akin Gump, added, “This is another shining example of how partnerships among professional firms, public schools and community organizations serve to greatly enhance the educational opportunities here in the District of Columbia. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Tyler and further contributing to the success of the school and the community.”

Akin Gump’s partnership with Tyler Elementary is rooted in a tutoring and mentoring program that pairs attorneys and staff with students in an effort to further academic achievement among the students. To date, the program has proven highly successful, with students showing significant improvement on the D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System test in each of the past two years.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 900 lawyers with offices in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Taipei and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; appellate; banking and finance; capital markets; communications and information technology; corporate and securities; corporate governance; employee benefits; energy; entertainment and media; environmental; financial restructuring; global security; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international trade; investment funds; labor and employment; land use; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; private client services; private equity; privatization; project development and finance; public law and policy; real estate development and finance; Russia/CIS; tax; and technology.

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