By Kambelle Ashmore
Williams Elementary School received a grant of $3,000 from the renowned author, James Patterson. These funds will help their library in many ways such as replacing outmoded materials.
“We need it for three specific things. One is we need it to replace out of date non-fiction books, the second is to replace VHS tapes with their DVD version[s], and the third is to provide food for a family event,” Williams Librarian Peggy Burton said.
The grant they received also will help tremendously with improving their library.
“It is now being used as a new part of curriculum for grades four and five and some of it is [for] e-books,” Williams Elementary Principal Kris Maleske said.
Williams’ fifth-grade teacher Debra Livingston was the one who found out about the grant and filled out the application.
“The process for filling out the grant application was very easy! I went online to the Scholastic website and linked up the application. In the grant, I indicated how we would use the grant money, the amount we were interested in and a short statement on how we would use the funds to promote a love of books,” Livingston said.
Livingston found the grant through the yearly catalog the school receives from the Scholastic Book Club. In the catalog, there was a flyer with information regarding the grant; Livingston presented it to Burton, and they talked about how the school could use the grant in their library. Once they figured it out, they informed Principal Maleske about the grant and asked if they had his backing in their decision.
“They sent an email sharing information that they were looking at the grant and wanted to know if they had my support,” Maleske said.
The process of getting the grant included many steps, and for a while a select few had to keep it a secret that they had received it.
“We found out when school first began that we had gotten the grant, but we couldn’t tell anyone until November or December,” Burton said.
According to Livingston, Scholastic had to pool together a group of potential receivers of the grant. Then they had to send that list to James Patterson, and he made the final decision on which schools received the grant.
“Scholastic received nearly 40,000 applications for the grant. In the end, 400 schools were selected, and we were one of them,” Livingston said.