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The City Journals

Thanks to a grant, Lincoln Elementary gets new books

Sep 15, 2021 01:32PM ● By Bill Hardesty

A $5,000 grant will help Lincoln Elementary to add to their collection of current selections. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]

What is yellow and read all over? Answer—many books in the Lincoln Elementary School Library. They’re yellowed due to age and read all over by the students. However, many new books will be added thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

“The average age of a book in our collection is 20 years,” Kristine Kramer, Lincoln’s librarian, said. “And if that is the average, there are a lot of books much older.”

Kramer applied for the grant last year and found out about the award in the spring.

“But we couldn’t tell everyone until Mrs. Bush’s appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” last May,” Karmer said. “I was ecstatic when I got the email.”

Lincoln Elementary school is one of 205 schools nationwide to receive the grant.

The GSD district’s book provider helps in the book selection by providing a list based on the school’s needs, desires of the school and budget.

“I received the list and spent all summer reading all of the books on the list,” Karmer said.

After her reading spree, Karmer customized the list and submitted the request the week before school. She thinks the book will start rolling in early September.

“With books costing on average $10-$12, I figure I will get about 500 books,” Karmer said.

With a current inventory of 4,000 books, about 13% of the collection will be new.

Cleaning out old books

With the new books coming, Karmer is cleaning out old books because the artwork is dated, the stories are now inappropriate, or they are just old. Some of the removed titles are: “How to Fight a Girl,” “Is He a Girl?,” “Our Sixth Grade Sugar Babies,” and “The Dollar Horse.”

Book replacement

“I want to get more nonfiction books, books about diversity, and more graphic novels,” Karmer said.

The new books will be added to books like “Sulwe,” which is about colorism and learning to love oneself, and “Born Just Right,” which is the story of Jordan Reeves who was born without the bottom half of her left arm, and “They Call Us Enemy,” a graphic novel based on George Takei’s Japanese Internment Camp experience.

Diversity is a crucial subject because there are 26 languages spoken at Lincoln, and “it is important for kids to read about people like themselves.”

“But I love being in education, and I love working with kids,” Karmer said. “And the best part about working with kids is just showing them how to read and how to learn, and see the excitement on their faces when they figure it out.”

Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

The foundation was created in July 2001. Since that time, 2,806 schools have received grants totaling more than $16 million. In addition, the grants have provided more than 724,000 books and other material.

“Once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open,” Laura Bush wrote.

During the announcement, Kelly Clarkson said, “Schools are built on books.”