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Kindergartners will receive 500 bears
Zachery Ramos
Zachery Ramos, founder of the Gustine Traveling Library is pictured with some of the bears that will be distributed to kindergartners across the Westside. - photo by Alex Ramirez

In a heartwarming collaboration with the Build-A-Bear Foundation, Zachary Ramos, alongside Gustine Traveling Library is set to give a new friend to young minds. 

Scheduled for April 18, Ramos will be distributing 500 soft brown bears, each donning a white shirt emblazoned with the Build-A-Bear Foundation logo, to kindergartners across the area, at their elementary schools in Gustine and Santa Nella.

Ramos is not a stranger to his passionate advocation for literacy. This initiative will share the love for reading among children. Partnering with Build-A-Bear for the bears, Ramos aims to engage young readers through the “Storytime with a Furry Friend” program.

“The Build-A-Bear Foundation’s dedication to literacy perfectly aligns with our goals for this initiative,” mentioned Ramos. “We want to instill in children the joy of reading from an early age.”

The choice of 500 bears was carefully calculated to ensure every kindergartner in the participating schools receives a bear. Any extra bears will be utilized for future missions.

“This isn’t just about giving out bears. It’s about creating lasting memories and fostering a culture of literacy,” said Ramos.

Ramos hopes to extend the program’s reach beyond kindergartners and striving for universal access to books at home.

“It’s not just about distributing bears and books. It’s about nurturing a community that prioritizes education and supports its children,” mentioned Ramos.

Ramos is working tirelessly to revitalize the local Discovery Center, set for a grand opening on May 25. Through grants and community support, the center aims to provide enriching experiences for children, including interactive exhibits and art programs.

Ramos recalls his personal journey and the struggles his family faced with literacy. His vision for the community is deeply rooted in his desire to provide support and opportunities for all children, regardless of their background.

“Every child deserves access to quality education and resources and it’s our responsibility as a community to ensure they have the tools they need to succeed,” said Ramos.

If you have any questions about the giveaway, be sure to reach out to the Gustine Traveling library at (209)585-8233.