New Reading Oasis opens at Friendship House Community Center


Lizette Chavez

Fuchsia Ward and Fred Kittredge smile before the cutting of the ribbon.

Lizette Chavez, Editor-in-Chief

The Kern Kiwanis Club in partnership with the Friendship House Community Center held a ribbon cutting event for a new community Reading Oasis on Nov. 8. The event was held to celebrate the opening of a small library for children and their parents.
Lois Hannible, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Friendship House Program Manager, spoke first at the event before introducing past president of Kiwanis Club of Kern Fred Kittredge, who then addressed the audience. Kittredge shared some of the moments that led to the opening of the Reading Oasis like the grants and help received and given by Kiwanis club members who ranged from architects, educators, and community leaders.
Kittredge said, “[It has been] just a little over two years, since the day that we started and today we’re going to cut the ribbon, open the door and be able to actually see it and present it to our friends. We are so proud. Thank you.”
The final speaker was Fuchsia Ward, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Kern and the Friendship House Advisory Board, who herself attended Friendship House as a child in 1957 and later ended up working closely with Kiwanis in 1994.
“Friendship House is my heart, because it is really where I received my start. … This project is very special to me also, when I was a kid we used to have a tutorial project here, … when children are exposed to books, the more books they have access to, even better than economics in the home, books play a major role in students becoming highly educated. Economics is not the leading factor as most of us think,” Ward said.
After the speakers’ speeches, the audience was asked to leave their seats and walk toward the Reading Oasis in order to witness the ribbon cutting.
Hannible, Kittredge and Ward cut the ribbon together and then opened the Reading Oasis and encouraged those attending to go inside and view the room as well as helping themselves to refreshments.
The Oasis Room was stocked with new books with the help of Scholastic and new computers to help local children with homework. The computers will also be used for an evening class for local parents to help introduce them to new technology and to help give them the resources to help their children with school work.