APS media specialists continue to rise to the challenge by securing outside funding to help their students. Target has named Charlotte Davidson (Boyd), Earl Banks (Grove Park) and LaToya West (Fain)—all elementary school media specialists in the Douglass High School cluster—recipients of the Target Early Childhood Reading Grant. The $2,000 grants will support literacy programs such as after-school reading events and weekend book clubs to foster a love of reading and encourage children to read with their families.
APS Media Services Coordinator Warren Goetzel says external funding is critical for library programs. He points out that the state funds elementary school libraries with about $15.31 per student per year. The amount is slightly less for middle schools.
Goetzel adds, “That’s for all media materials, not just books. The average cost of a book is $25. Books become obsolete pretty rapidly these days, and schools don’t have the money to update them.”
Securing grant funding is not a quick and easy process. Individuals must first identify their students’ needs, research external resources they think will meet those needs and submit well articulated grant proposals. The entire APS community benefits from the work of dedicated employees like Davidson, Banks and West. Their resourcefulness and forward-thinking will help provide our students with the most updated resources available.
Target stores provide grants to K-12 schools and other non-profit organizations to bring art and cultural experiences to schools, support educational field trips and provide early childhood reading programs.