The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries is giving two Jefferson County elementary schools $5,000 grants to support the extension of their library collections and services.
Over 90 percent of students at Minors Lane Elementary, one of the schools receiving a grant, receive free and reduced lunches, and it has one of the highest percentages, 80.4, of Hispanic students in relation to its English as a Second Language population.
Prinicipal Zachary Eckels said his school will use its grant in part to expand its multi-language publications, which currently offers students non-English periodicals at different reading levels.
“We’re going to try to get some books in here this year that are at different levels too, different levels and different languages,” said Eckels.
Eckels, who expects the number of Hispanic students to continue to rise, said the school's library is not just a resource for students.
“We promote not only our kids but also our parents to be able to utilize our library. So this grant is going to help that in a lot of ways,” he said.
Eckels also said the grant will support online programs offered through the library that help students who are struggle in reading and math.
Before any decisions are finalized, the school librarian and its local School-Based Decision Making Council will provide input, he said.
Semple Elementary School is also the recipient of a $5,000 grant. Principal Danielle Randle said the school lost a lot of books in a fire a few years ago.
“We are just going to be on a book shopping spree,” she said.
Randle also expressed interest in painting a mural in the library to brighten up the space.
In all, 10 Kentucky schools received grants.