C’ville school beneficiary of former first lady’s foundation
By Emily McFarlan email@example.com June 18, 2012 8:02PM
From librarian to first lady
Growing up in Midland, Texas, former first lady Laura Bush dreamed of becoming a teacher — a dream sparked by her early introduction to books by her mother at the local public library, according to the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.
Bush later earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas at Austin. She went on to work as a public teacher and librarian in the Houston, Dallas and Austin school systems.
As first lady, she launched “Ready to Read, Ready to Learn.” The early childhood development initiative sought to help parents and caregivers prepare infants and young children for success in reading and learning when they enter school. She also hosted two White House summits, published a series of magazines for parents of newborns, and launched the National Book Festival with the Library of Congress.
Bush continues that work through the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.
More information is available at www.laurabushfoundation.org.
Updated: July 20, 2012 6:10AM
CARPENTERSVILLE — The Golfview Elementary School library needed more books to “entice” students to read, according to library media specialist Debbie Kaczar.
Kaczar now will be able to purchase those books for the library with a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.
Golfview is one of 238 school libraries that have been awarded $1,126,315 in grants this year from the foundation, it announced this month. Those schools will receive grants up to $5,000 to expand, update and diversify their library book collections, according to the foundation.
The Carpentersville school will receive the full $5,000, and Kaczar said she will spend it all on reading materials.
That includes books that will interest students in preschool through grade four, as well as bilingual books for Golfview’s Spanish-speaking students and families, she said. That also includes nonfiction books that will support the school curriculum: books about animals and holidays and the 50 states, she said.
“The kids are so awesome,” Kaczar said. “For me to be able to share the love of reading with students and to put books in their hands that interest them is why I wanted to write the grant.”
The library media specialist had analyzed Golfview’s collection early last school year and realized it needed more resources to support curriculum, she said. But its budget was limited to what it could raise through book fairs, she said, so she went online to find grants over the school’s winter break.
She found the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries grant three days before applications were due and raced to complete it. It was the first grant she ever had written, she said.
The foundation’s mission is to support the education of the nation’s children by providing funds to update, extend and diversify the book and print collections of school libraries, according to the foundation.
It was founded by the then-first lady in 2002 as a fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. Since then, it has awarded more than $9.5 million to schools in all 50 states; Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The foundation also awarded more than $6.3 million to school libraries in the Gulf Coast region to rebuild their library book collections that were lost to hurricanes or storms, it said.
This year, the foundation partnered with Target Corp. to award 10 additional grants to schools.