Boston Celtics and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Unveil Reimagined Library at Ellis Elementary School in Roxbury


BOSTON – The Boston Celtics and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today launched a new library experience at the Ellis Elementary School in Roxbury, Mass. The facility features new technology and educational resources, as well as a completely refurbished, flexible space designed to meet the unique needs of the Ellis Elementary community. Ellis educators worked with HMH, the Celtics and other Boston education innovators to create a comprehensive space for reading and developing new digital literacy and research skills for the 21st century student.

The redesigned library features a computer lab, smart TV, mobile technology, a comfortable reading corner and inspiring, fun wall art. HMH has also donated nearly 500 books to the library, including popular titles in the Curious George, Gossie & Friends and George and Martha series.

Celtics Guard Jerryd Bayless and representatives from HMH revealed the refurbished facility during an afternoon celebration with Ellis students that included reading activities and an online scavenger hunt designed to spark curiosity and support developing technology skills.

“It’s a great feeling to be able provide these kids with the space they need to inspire curiosity,” said Bayless. “As a newcomer to the Celtics and Boston, I’m glad I was able to be a part of this and give back to the community.

Plans for the library were developed during an innovative “visioning session” facilitated by Mary Cullinane, Chief Content Officer and EVP, Corporate Affairs at HMH, and education technology experts and thought leaders from the Celtics, Boston Children’s Museum, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Samsung. The dialogue identified five “critical success factors” to guide the redesign project in meeting priorities for Ellis educators, students and families. These key benchmarks were:  to create a safe, comfortable and welcoming retreat, to include appropriate, innovative technologies, to incorporate multicultural content and bilingual resources, to create hands-on learning opportunities, and to build a flexible design to facilitate multiple uses for the space.

“HMH is passionate about removing barriers to learning and extending access to quality content and resources to all, and we are honored to be able to do so alongside the Celtics,” said Mary Cullinane. “The visioning session gave us the opportunity to reflect on the motivations, inspirations and challenges facing the Ellis education community in order to address its key needs and make a positive impact.”

HMH’s collaboration with the Boston Celtics is just one part of a dedicated corporate citizenship effort at HMH, which includes additional partnerships, employee volunteerism programs, a multimillion dollar annual book donation program, employee/company gift-matching and Community Investment Councils — location-based employee committees charged with creating opportunities for colleagues to have a positive impact on the community.

Ellis School reveal
Mary Cullinane, Jerryd Bayless, and Ellis School students in the new library.
Photo by: Steve Babineau


About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global learning company with the mission of changing   people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Among the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses, HMH combines cutting-edge research, editorial excellence and technological innovation to improve teaching and learning environments and solve complex literacy and education challenges. HMH’s interactive, results-driven education solutions are utilized by 50 million students in over 150 countries, and its renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children's books and reference works are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit

About The Boston Celtics  
A charter member of the Basketball Association of America (which evolved into the National Basketball Association) since 1946, the Boston Celtics have won a record 17 NBA Championships, including eight (8) in a row from 1959-1966, winning their first title in 1957 and their most recent in 2008. The Celtics have long stood for equality, and respect, including hiring the first African American Coach and starting the first all black starting five. In addition, 35 former Celtics players, management or staff have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In December 2002 the team returned to local ownership for the first time since 1963. For more information on the Celtics, log on to

Media Contact
Heather Walker
Boston Celtics
(O) 617-854-8072
(C) 617-594-4453