GREENFIELD — Arroyo Seco Citizens Association honored Dee Heckman’s service to the organization and her decades-long teaching career June 22 with a new lending library named after her.
“I’m honored, humble and happy,” Heckman said about her lending library. “I really truly wanted a library named after me in Greenfield at one of the schools.”
Heckman moved to Arroyo Seco in 1989 and has been a member of the Arroyo Seco Citizens Association since 1990 off-and-on. She was president for a few years and went on to be the treasurer for about five years.
Heckman’s teaching career began at what is now Mary Chapa Academy for 22 years, then moved on to Cesar Chavez Elementary for three years and Vista Verde Middle School for four years. She has taught third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders.
In the summer of 2017, for the second time, lymphoma was found in Heckman’s bones and she had to walk away from teaching.
“Considering Dee’s fondest wish has been to teach her students to love reading, we believe it is fitting to honor her by placing a compact library in front of the Community Center,” said Valarie Klingelhoefer, current president of the Arroyo Seco Citizens Association. “It will be continuously stocked with books, available for free to all Arroyo Seco children and their families.”
Heckman also received a special resolution from Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez.
“Dee is one of those people who draws attention to our community in a positive way and supports our community at every opportunity she gets,” Lopez said.
The Dee Heckman Library is part of the Literacy Club that has branched out to 120,000 books given to children. About $7,000 of books come with Heckman’s lending library, which has lights when it is open and latches closed.
Visitors to the outside library can take one or more books, they don’t have to worry about returning them to the library but just pass them along.
The lending library is at the Arroyo Seco Fire Station and Community Center at 46700 Arroyo Seco Road in Greenfield.