Thanks to the efforts of Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association member Maria Ramirez-Acevedo, Kagel Elementary School in Milwaukee has received an NEA Read Across America 2016 Library grant. This individual grant of $1,000 will be used to purchase diverse books for the school library.
The Read Across America Library Grants Program was created in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, which destroyed or damaged schools along the Gulf Coast in 2005. NEA established the national program to provide much-needed funds and books to the devastated school libraries. Since then, the program has funded more than $500,000 in grants to restock library shelves nationwide.
Seventy-one schools were chosen from 131 applications received from NEA members across the nation. The entrants applied online and were required to explain, in detail, how they would use the grants to restock their school libraries. All applicants were from schools that serve disadvantaged students in schools that have at least 70 percent of the students qualifying for free or reduced school lunch.
“The imaginations of millions of students are ignited with the exhilarating magic that happens when they open up a good book,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “We have a responsibility to develop life-long learners. Our school libraries are one of the essential resources we must provide to ensure that all of our students succeed.”
NEA’s Read Across America is a reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, “Read Across America Day,” the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. NEA’s Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.
The 2016 NEA’s Read Across America Library Grants were made possible by a contribution from The Weinstein Company and Walden Media in connection with their film “The Giver,” based on the popular young adult novel by Lois Lowry. Donations from individuals or organizations to the fund are made through the NEA Foundation.
For more information on NEA’s Read Across America and a complete list of 2016 Library Grant winners, visit: nea.org/readacross. Individuals or organizations wishing to donate to the Read Across America Library Grant Fund may do so through the NEA Foundation (neafoundation.org).