A Record 24 Media Centers Received $5,000 Grants From the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

Parkside Elementary students enjoy their school's award winning library led by Media Specialist, Tommy Clay.

 A record 23 Atlanta Public Schools media centers received $5,000 grants from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries on May 5th, by far the most of any school district in the nation. The grants are awarded to help media specialists expand, update, and diversify their library book collections. APS represented almost ten percent of the 241 school libraries that were selected throughout the nation (earning a total of $1,086,926 in grant money).  Last year 15 of the 188 libraries selected were from APS.

According to APS Media Services Coordinator Warren Goetzel, funding for book collections has never been more important. Right now the elementary schools get $15.31 per student per year in state funding, while middle schools and high schools get $13.03 per student per year. “And that’s for all media materials, not just books,” said Goetzel, who made a strong push for his media specialists to apply for the grant this year. ”The average cost of a book is $25. Books become obsolete pretty rapidly these days, and they don’t have the money to update them.” He added that the average usable life of a non-fiction is about five years due to rapid changes in science and technology. “Consider that Pluto’s not a planet anymore,” he said. “Any time there are those changes, you have to discard the book and start over.”

Goetzel and Andrea Waters-Winston, Director for Learning Technologies, were particularly proud of the media specialists for rising to the challenge and taking advantage of this crucial funding opportunity: “External funding is critical to build and maintain balanced book collections. Our media specialists are so dedicated to their staff and students to make sure they have the most updated resources availability.”

Below is the list of the grant-winning APS media centers and their media specialists:

  1.  Beecher Hills Elementary School – Kristie Stargell
  2. BEST Academy High School – Kesha Legagneur
  3. BEST Academy Middle School – Bruce Williams
  4. Boyd Elementary School – Charlotte Davidson
  5. Capitol View Elementary School – Wilma Brightharp
  6. Carter G. Woodson Elementary School – Melanie Ellis
  7. Charles L. Gideons Elementary School – Alice Daniels
  8. D. H. Stanton Elementary School – Brenda Street
  9. East Lake Elementary School – Renee Withers
  10. Fickett Elementary School – Veronica Miller
  11. Hope-Hill Elementary School – Lisa Carter  
  12. J. E. Brown Middle School Atlanta – Jami Pettway
  13. John F. Kennedy Middle School Atlanta – Nikki Bivins
  14. L. J. Price Middle School – Tammy Rosado
  15. Leonora Precious Miles Elementary School – Reginald Ponder
  16. Margaret Fain Elementary School – LaToya West
  17. Parkside Elementary School – Tommy Clay
  18. Perkerson Elementary School – Gloria Wright
  19. South Atlanta School of Computer Animation and Design – Tiffonia Lamar
  20. The New Schools @ Carver – Kathryn Weaver
  21. Thomasville Heights Elementary School – Imogene Mackey
  22. Whitefoord Elementary School – Mileeka Frank
  23. William J. Scott Elementary School – Anja Tigges
  24. William M. Finch Elementary School – Verble Alexander

(photo courtesy of Parkside Elementary PTA)


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