Florida Third Graders Keep Local B&N from Closing
When third graders at Tomoka Elementary School in Ormond Beach, Fla., learned that the local Barnes & Noble, in Daytona Beach, would likely close at the end of the year, they wrote to CEO Demos Parneros, begging him not to close the store, suggesting other sites and inviting him to visit to see alternative locations.
As the AP reported (via Local 20 News), the letter, written "in colorful penmanship" on poster-sized paper, read in part: "We recently learned that Barnes & Noble had lost its lease on your Daytona Beach store. We are very sorry to hear that and very upset that we won't be able to visit and shop and browse and learn new things. Some of us love your sale items (using math). Some like to study there and also eat there.... Please don't leave us without our favorite book store!... P.S. If you come, we will take you to the beach with us and teach you how to surf!"
The letter struck a chord, and B&N renewed the store's lease for another year. On Friday, B&N v-p of retail operations Frank Morabito visited the school and met the students in Shaina Belsky's third grade class who had sent the letter.
"When we got the letter, it was important to us, not only that we didn't disappoint you but we didn't disappoint the community," Morabito told the class. "So we tried really hard to keep it open and this time we were able to."
For her part, Belsky said she hoped to show her students that they have the power to make a difference by converting ideas to action: "They just have to try. They can make positive change for themselves and their community, and they just have to try."