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Middle, high school awarded grants to expand multicultural book collection  

Godfrey-Lee — Lee Middle and High School’s library collection will continue to grow and diversify, thanks to two $5,000 grants.

The school was one of 200 from 40 states across the country to receive a $5,000 grant through the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, which supports school libraries with the greatest needs and encourages students to develop a love of learning and reading. Another $5,000 grant was awarded by the National Education Association Foundation.

District library media specialist Harry Coffill said both grants will be used to purchase popular books written in Spanish and stories that center on Hispanic and Latino characters and cultures. 

“One of the things we emphasize at Godfrey-Lee is that a second language or students’ native language is a super power,” Coffill said. “We have so many EL students who may read better in Spanish, and really great English speakers who enjoy reading in Spanish alongside their friends.” 

New books, including titles written by J.K. Rowling and Stephen King, are expected to hit the shelves of Lee’s library this fall.

“I’ve ordered 278 books so far, with some doubles, including $1,000 worth of graphic novels written in Spanish,” Coffill said. “We’re going to have so many new titles, which is a good problem to have.” 

Godfrey Elementary received a $5,000 grant in 2022 from the Laura Bush Foundation to double their library’s non-fiction selection.

Read more from Godfrey Lee: 
New library hailed as a ‘repository of knowledge’
This librarian’s mission: helping students find ‘the voice they need at that moment’

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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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