Solano County teachers and classrooms are losing a valuable resource and community convenience store.
After 29 years, the Bookworm Educational Supply Store on Springs Road is closing on December 30 after the co-owner suffered a medical emergency. Store owner Kelli Orona closes the window to focus on the recovery of her husband, Leonard, who suffered a massive stroke. The family business will have to redefine its “new normal”, but its inventory will still be available online.
“My husband has always been supportive of my family and me and now we all stand together for him,” Orona said. “What I will miss the most is watching the children find their books here, grow up and bring their own families here too. It was an honor and a pleasure to serve the community.
A GoFundMe has been made public to support the family’s unexpected medical bills. The link can be found here.
Married traders, Leonard and Kelli Orona have always been studious community educators. They opened Bookworm in 1993 to help serve their community by providing affordable school supplies and tutoring so that teachers and parents from all economic backgrounds could have the opportunity to provide a better education.
“We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to get an education and the opportunity to buy a book so that no one was left out of learning,” Orona said.
Tragedy struck in September when Leonard suffered a stroke and thankfully survived. After being hospitalized for two months, Orona soon begins rehabilitation and her home recovery begins with full-time 24/7 care.
Teachers at Pennycook Elementary School, no less than five minutes away, will miss the store.
“I really think local teachers will be affected because there are no or few physical teacher stores left,” said TK teacher Elizabeth Fong.
“I think what educators will miss most is the warm, friendly and knowledgeable staff that worked there and the fact that it was a local store in our community,” said the teacher from kindergarten Danielle Mendonca. “Now we will have to travel to places like Walnut Creek or go to Lakeshore to learn how to buy our classroom supplies in the future.”
“Their loss will be greatly felt,” said first-grade teacher Lawrence Hager.
As the Bookworm moves away, Orona remains keen to support the community, offering pop-up events and free local deliveries when ordered through the Bookworm website, which will remain open after the store closes. To visit the store before it closes, follow The Bookworm Educational Supply Store on Facebook and donate at gofundme.com/f/lets-help-leonard-orona-with-medical-expenses.