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District library furnishings to get upgrade

Godfrey-Lee — Sitting at his computer on the first day of school in Lee Middle and High School’s media center, District Media Specialist Harry Coffill shared some exciting news.

“We got a grant! A big one,” he said. “Usually when you get a text and an email from the superintendent during the summer, you think you’re talking about trouble; well, this was good trouble.”

Over the summer, Coffill and the Godfrey-Lee library media team found out they received a $150,000 grant from the Michigan Education Foundation. He expects to begin installation by next spring.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Coffill said. “The last grant we received went toward books, but this one is for new furniture, shelving, tables and seating. Some of the fixtures are more than 20 years old and that’s probably conservative.

Godfrey-Lee media centers received a $150,000 grant to modernize furniture

In June, Godfrey Elementary was one of 300 schools in the country to receive grant funds from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries to grow their collection of non-fiction books.  

During the first two weeks of September, Coffill is asking for bids from different furniture companies. With three buildings with libraries to furnish, Coffill said, “We will do our best to distribute funds equitably.”

Media paraprofessional Susan McCaffrey explained how this grant’s application process was geared toward schools with “similar demographics and literacy needs” to Godfrey-Lee. 

She explained their goal for the new furniture is to modernize the spaces for style and safety. “We want to make the media centers more user-friendly and comfortable for students to use,” she said. 

Coffill discussed how new furniture will reduce the risk of aging shelves and wooden tables and chairs splintering. Upon closer observation, some of the screws from individual shelves holding the books are starting to pull away from the sides of the shelving. 

He added: “It’s exciting and a lot of work, but we’re making plans.”

Godfrey Lee Early Childhood Center’s media center will get a makeover next spring, alongside Godfrey Elementary and Lee Middle and High School
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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter covering Byron Center, Caledonia, Godfrey-Lee, Kenowa Hills and Thornapple Kellogg. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry, before finding her calling in education reporting and landing at SNN. Alexis is also the author of a poetry chapbook, “Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed.”


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