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Secretary Spellings and Mrs. Laura Bush Announce Nearly $19 Million to Enhance Libraries in Low-Income Schools


Waterbury, CT — U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today joined Mrs. Laura Bush to announce nearly $19 million in federal funds to enhance libraries in 78 low-income school districts across the United States. Visiting Driggs Elementary School, a beneficiary of an Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Grant, Secretary Spellings and Mrs. Bush underscored the need to equip all students with a strong reading foundation so they can achieve grade-level success under No Child Left Behind. The grants announced today support the goals of the law by furthering opportunities for students to develop strong reading skills, which will help narrow our nation’s achievement gap and sustain students throughout their lifetimes.

“Reading enriches our lives and is the building block upon which all other learning is possible. These grants will help school libraries equip students with resources that build knowledge and foster a lifelong love of reading,” Secretary Spellings said.

“From Maine to California, these students from low-income communities will now have access to top-notch libraries,” said Mrs. Bush. “In every one of these school districts, the grants we are awarding today will help teachers, principals, and librarians encourage their students’ love of books.”

The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program provides funds to help schools improve their library media and address the reading and other literacy challenges of their students. Funds can be used to increase library holdings, improve schools’ technological resources and capabilities, facilitate Internet links and other resource-sharing networks, enhance professional development opportunities and expand hours of access to library services. This program will help improve students’ reading achievement by focusing on available resources to ensure that no child is left behind.

With the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Grant awarded today, Waterbury Public Schools will launch an innovative literacy project that integrates technology into curriculum and instruction. Waterbury will equip each of its twenty Title I elementary schools, including Driggs Elementary School, with advanced technology and non-fiction books to support reading in the core content areas. Additionally, library media specialists and teachers and will be equipped with resources to collaborate on the development of lessons for students promoting literacy and critical thinking.


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