The Cambrian

Online book purchases help Cambria Grammar School library

The Masons and Barnes & Noble are helping put books in the hands of Cambria Grammar School students.

For 17 years, the Thaddeus Sherman Masonic Lodge No. 196 (formerly known as Free and Accepted Masons San Simeon Lodge No. 196) has made supporting reading education in Cambria a priority. Since 1995, the Masons have sponsored a Reading Achievement Award at the school. Altogether, the Masons have financed purchase of 350 books for the school library.

Each year, every grammar school classroom teacher is asked to select a student from his or her class who has exhibited a love of reading. These students are then invited to visit a local bookstore and choose a book, compliments of the Masons, to be placed in the school library.

The students are recognized at a school-wide assembly program. A dedication plate inside their book features the student’s name and a personal note from their teacher about their reading accomplishment.

“Our future is dependent on our youth,” said Mason member Jerry McKinnon. “Our youth depend on education. Reading is an important part of their education. Anything we can do to help students, we want to do, to help our town and our country.”

“Students who have moved on from the grammar school — and even those who have graduated — come back to the grammar school library on occasion to ‘visit’ their Masons book,” said Heather Stephenson, school librarian. “The honor of choosing a book to be a part of our library really means something to these students. They are always so proud and nostalgic about that time in their life when the magic of reading filled their world.”

With no more bookstores in Cambria, students now travel to the Barnes & Noble bookstore in San Luis Obispo to choose their books.

The school is also teaming up with Barnes & Noble to raise additional money and buy more library books. Through Friday, Feb. 22, the school library benefits from online purchases of books and other merchandise from Barnes & Noble. To help put more books in the hands of more students, go to and enter the code 11029113 when checking out and a share of the proceeds will go to the grammar school.

Purchases may also be made at the San Luis Obispo store at 894 Marsh St. through Sunday, Feb. 17, and proceeds will be shared with the school. Use the same code number at checkout.

For more information, call school librarian Heather Stephenson at 924-1100.