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Williams, Ervins Make Library READesign A Success

Redskins alumni Doug Williams and Ricky Ervins helped members from Keller Williams and The Heart of America Foundation to redesign a new library for Capitol Heights Elementary students.

Redskins alumni Doug Williams and Ricky Ervins visited Capitol Heights Elementary on Thursday to celebrate the school's newly redesigned library.

Just a few hours before the students at Capitol Heights Elementary School toured their brand new library, close to 30 people were still organizing and putting together the final touches to a transformative learning center.

Fullback Darrel Young and offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao visited the "Redskins Read Challenge" winners from Roscoe R. Nix Elementary school on Friday.

Workers from Keller Williams Preferred Properties, in partnership with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, provided the library -- once a dimly lit, cluttered space -- a "READesign," turning it into a bright, technology-friendly environment.

Those that came to help, including volunteers from The Heart of America Foundation and Redskins alumni Doug Williams and Rick Ervins, provided an "Extreme Makeover-type" final day to a month-long renovation.

That included stocking shelves with 875 new books, supplying new mini iPads to several desks, painting walls, pinning up inspirational photos and quotes, installing a news anchor desk for morning announcements and providing a reading corner with new furniture.

The third grade class that helped pitch ideas for the new library was privileged with the first peak. Entering a place full of adults and cameramen -- let alone a refurbished room -- students exhibited bewildered stares and awe.

"Everything that we do as adults is always for the kids," said Ervins, who is also a real estate agent with Keller Williams. "Anytime you can go in and help rebuild a library or room, whatever it is, to benefit the kids, I'm all in. Everything we do as a people should be for the kids. They're the future. Many folks don't use the library anymore because you've got the internet, but if you can make this so inviting that kids want to come in and look at these books and read, then that's a plus."

It would be difficult to resist the library's temptations, and a spontaneous straw poll of the class that asked students whether they would return to the library returned an unanimous agreement.

The introduction was shortly followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and soon all classes made their way down for quick tours of their new reading spot.

"I've got kids. I know how important it is for the parents to be involved, the teachers to be involved and the community," Williams said. "To see the community get involved like they have, especially Keller Williams…There's nothing like giving back, and that's what they did along with Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. The Foundation always finds a way to get a good partner that does a lot for the kids. I think at the end of the day, it's all about the kids."

"For us to do it in the timeframe we did it in, this is awesome," Ervins said. "Now you look at it like, 'Wow.' I think the kids are really going to be excited about it." 

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