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#PattersonPledge of the Week: Starr Detroit Academy

Earlier this year, bestselling author James Patterson pledged to give $1.75 million in grants to school libraries nationwide—matched by Bonus Points from Scholastic Reading Club! Winning schools have been presented with a phenomenal opportunity to improve their libraries and bring the joy of reading to more members of their school community. We reached out to librarians from winning schools to learn more about their libraries, schools, and plans for the grant money. Today we’re talking with Sharisa Greene, librarian at Starr Detroit Academy in Harper Woods, MI.

What will your grant be used for?

Starr Detroit Academy plans to purchase books and book shelves to begin building a school library.

How long has this project been on your wish list?

Our school has been in existence since 2012, and this has been something that I’ve always talked about: the importance of having a school library.

Will the students in your school have input on the grant’s execution? Will they help choose books for the library?

We plan to put together a student focus group. This focus group will have representatives from each grade level to discuss the type of books they would like to read and have in our library.

How important are school libraries in our communities?

School libraries are extremely important. Our students come from low-income families and should be exposed to all types of books and information. It has been said that libraries with flexible scheduling and qualified librarians can provide students with access to information as well as the skills to evaluate and use information. These skills help translate to increased test scores and overall academic achievement.

What was your favorite childhood school library moment?

I remember visiting the school library each week at Civic Park Elementary School. Our librarian, Mrs. Shannon, took care of the library’s books and taught us how to properly use the library using the Dewey Decimal System. These were her main responsibilities, and she did a great job. I remember that library was always in tip-top shape. I looked forward to finding a spot to read; sometimes it would be on a bean bag or even a corner of the library. We learned responsibility because we had to take care of the books that we checked out and return them on time and in good condition.

In the coming weeks, look for stories from winning schools about their libraries and plans for the grant money.


 

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