Southeast Middle School receives grant to update library

A Pine Bluff School District campus is one of 212 schools nationwide to be awarded a grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

Southeast Middle School received a $5,000 grant to expand, update and diversify its library book collection.

“I am so excited that Southeast received this extra funding to add high interest books to our library collection,” said Susan Bitely, Southeast Middle School librarian media specialist and grant writer. “New and diverse books will be an impetus to keep our students excited about reading and learning about the world.”

Southeast Middle School will use the grant to add high interest and award-winning fiction books, diverse biographies, and nonfiction science books linked to thematic units according to Cheryl Hatley, Southeast Middle School principal.

The grant application process is administered by The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region with guidance from The Laura Bush Foundation’s Advisory Committee. The grants are funded through generous donations to the endowment from individuals, corporations and foundations.

The foundation is giving more than $1 million in grants in 2013 to help school libraries purchase books.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries was founded in 2002 as a fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. Since its inception, the Laura Bush Foundation has awarded more than $10.5 million to schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the Marshal Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.

In addition to these yearly grants, the foundation has also awarded more than $6.3 million to school libraries in the Gulf Coast region to rebuild their library book collections that were lost or destroyed by hurricanes or storms.

The mission of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries is to support the education of the nation’s children by providing funds to update, extend and diversity the book and print collections of America’s school libraries. Further information is available at