‘I want to cry. I’m in book heaven.’ How one reading advocate hopes to change the lives of juvenile hall detainees through a library

From LA Times

” On one wall of her small classroom at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, Zoila Gallegos had set up a makeshift library, but it was never enough. Gallegos, a reading specialist with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, has worked at the juvenile lockup in Downey for the past nine years. A child of immigrants who grew up in South Los Angeles, she struggled with English and reading and with the poverty and violence in her neighborhood. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school. Now, Gallegos said, she makes it a mission to extend the same opportunity to the struggling readers she teaches in the juvenile hall.“In my own way, I’m doing my own civil rights initiative,” she said. “That’s how I see it.”So a year and a half ago, she took a small but unusual step in the hierarchical world of county bureaucracy: She sent a letter to a county supervisor and asked for a library.”