Friday, November 12, 2010

WHS Students Win Grant to Buy Books for School Library

Congratulations to the WHS Readers Club and the WHS Library who are the recipients of a $1,000 Creative Classroom grant from the Washougal Schools Foundation due to the initiative of Junior Kristan Poissonnier and a team of Readers Club Officers, including Seniors Troy McConnaughey, Rickie Ludlow, Stacy Bradley, Andrea Miller, and Sophomore Cameron Holmes. The students initiated the proposal independently and collectively wrote the Books ‘R’ Us Washougal High grant, enabling students to help select and purchase library books.

In August, Kristan and her Readers Club peers were excited about seeing each other and were looking forward to a year of new books to read, but when she found out that the budget restrictions in the school district impacted the library, she took matters into her own hands, investigating alternate ways to raise money for library resources.

“I talked to principals and staff and found out about the Washougal Schools Foundation grants,” said Kristan. “I was in the library talking about the grant and library volunteer Boyd Hemminger was listening. It turned out that he was on the grant committee. He got me an application to fill out, and he got me all the rules and regulations I had to abide by. Then I took off from there.”

To demonstrate the need for the grant, Kristan and her team talked about budget cuts which have reduced the library's budget for adding books, saying “There is no money to support adding new literature to the library.” The grant writers further addressed how the grant would actively involve students while on their annual field trip to Powell’s City of Books in Portland, where the Reader Club members typically select new and gently used books for the school library, with the approval of Washougal High School Teacher/Librarian Kim Dillon.

The grant stated:
“We plan on purchasing a variety of genres - biographies, manga, and fiction. Selecting different genres such as biographies and autobiographies will allow the students to see and experience other people’s lives. Fiction will let the reader relax and enjoy a good book about a mythological being and make them use their imagination to picture these stories. Manga is designed to encourage children to talk about something such as the art of anime. The artwork didn’t come out of thin air someone had to draw the pictures. So even in the smallest of things, that we can’t possibly imagine, there is an educational benefit.”