Last November, thanks to the generosity of the Laura Bush Foundation (LBF), the Dallas Education Foundation (DEF) was awarded $500,000 for the direct benefit of Dallas ISD to rebuild library collections of schools affected by the October 2019 Dallas-area tornadoes.
These grants are being used to expand, update, and diversify the library book collections at Thomas Jefferson High School, Francisco “Pancho” Medrano Jr. High School, and Walnut Hill PK-8, with the goal to increase student interest in reading and directly tie book collection to instruction.
After the 2019 tornadoes, Francisco “Pancho” Medrano Junior High School accepted 310 students displaced from Edward H. Cary Middle School.
The Dallas Education Foundation requested that the Laura Bush Foundation include Medrano Jr. High in the scope of their giving. As a result, $121,903 was gifted for the benefit of Medrano. The funds were used to purchase both paper and electronic titles and required the new acquisition tie to instruction.
On Nov. 18, Medrano Jr. High and the DEF hosted representatives from the LBF to give a presentation on how the donation has been used at Medrano. Seven of the 310 Cary Middle School students were present as part of a student panel.
Dallas ISD’s Library & Media Services helped guide the process in selecting appropriate book titles for students. Medrano now averages 16 books on the shelves per student, as well as digital books through MackinVia and SORA. The process included canvassing the students at Medrano, asking them what they wanted to read, and asking the staff what curricular areas they wanted to be supported.
“I would like to thank Mita Havlik and the Dallas Education Foundation for always saying ‘yes’ to our needs at Medrano,” said Theresa Sigurdson, principal of Medrano Jr. High. “I cannot thank the Laura Bush Foundation enough for supporting the Dallas Education Foundation and for their generosity to ensure our students have current titles to read.”
“We are so thankful to the Laura Bush Foundation for making this school library an outstandingly equipped library to serve the displaced students of Cary Middle School who are now at Medrano with a more inclusive, exciting, current collection,” shared Gay Patrick, Library & Media Services director. “ We are looking forward to doing the same for Thomas Jefferson and Walnut Hill Elementary.”