Two District 51 libraries get $5K each from Laura Bush Foundation

Libraries at Bookcliff Middle School and Grand Mesa Middle School will receive $5,000 apiece next year from The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

Bookcliff librarian Andrea Wiltse said she plans to spend the check on history and geography books. Wiltse reviewed each section in the library before applying for the grant and found the history and geography section had the oldest books.

“The average year those books were published was 1982,” she said.

Grand Mesa librarian Suzanne Cucchetti plans to spend the grant money on narrative nonfiction books, which are written like novels and are easier for low-level readers to understand. She also plans to update the library with some popular reads.

“I’m going to buy general, high-interest fiction to get more kids into the library,” she said.

The grant requires recipients to spend all money received from the foundation on printed materials, so Cucchetti said the grant also allows her to shift more money in her budget from the school district to nonprinted items, such as audio books and e-books.

Nationwide, 241 school libraries will receive a slice of the $1.09 million being awarded in 2011 by the foundation, named for former first lady Laura Bush.

The two Grand Junction middle schools are among five Colorado schools selected to receive the grant. The other Colorado recipients are in Edgewater and Colorado Springs.


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