Burns Lake school to revitalize library

WKE’s current library budget allows for one book per student

William Konkin Elementary (WKE) will be able to purchase 3600 books over the next three years, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

On May 25, 2017, WKE teachers thought they were participating in a general informational conference call with the foundation to discuss library needs. Little did they know that the foundation was about to reveal that WKE was in fact one of 30 recipients of the 2017 literacy fund grant.

“We were delighted to receive the news in a surprise call informing us that we will receive a grant to help transform our school library and enrich the lives and education of our students,” said WKE principal Wendy Kelemen. “This support could not have come at a better time.”

WKE currently has 207 students with a library budget that allows for one book per student. Almost half of WKE’s library books are dated pre-2000. The school will now be able to increase its library collection by approximately six books per student for each of the three grant years.

According to the foundation, high-needs elementary schools such WKE have limited offerings in their libraries, with outdated and damaged books on their shelves.

“In a country where school library budgets continue to shrink, and teachers each year spend over $200 million of their own money to make up for this funding gap, it is the students of high-needs elementary schools that face the harshest consequences of neglected school libraries,” states the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation in a press release. “These much-needed grants provide the means to break the cycle of dwindling bookshelves caused by inadequate library funding.”

Over the past 13 years, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has committed more than $25 million in funding, helping more than 3000 schools.