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.
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.”