COSTA MESA — Kimberly Henry, the library clerk at Rea Elementary School, has had to make do for the last three years without a budget for updating her bookshelves.
That shouldn't be a problem anymore.
On Wednesday morning, the school in Costa Mesa received nearly $12,000 in books and monetary donations to replenish its library.
The Fashion Island Barnes & Noble branch gave the school 780 books the store has collected through new book donations from customers, along with a matching cash donation of $5,666 from City National Bank — nearly double the amount school officials had anticipated.
"Oh, my God, I almost cried," Henry said after receiving the larger-than-expected check. "I can do so much with that."
Students, school officials and other Newport-Mesa Unified School District representatives gathered on the blacktop for a special presentation of the donations.
The students sat cross-legged as the wind blew their hair about, and they clapped and cheered when the announcement was made.