CHICAGO – The Quinby Street Resource Center in Sharon, Pennsylvania, the Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School in Cassopolis, Michigan and the Muncie P3 Program in Muncie, Indiana have been selected to receive the 2016 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants.
Awarded each spring by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee, the grant program donates books originally submitted for consideration for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards to organizations and schools in need across the country. The libraries are selected from a field of applicants that demonstrate need and potential benefit from receiving the collection; for this year, the Committee split one of the three available awards between two organizations that serve children and young adults respectively. All winners will receive copies of titles submitted to the 2016 Coretta Scott King Book Awards, including a full set of the year’s winner and honor books.
The Quinby Street Resources Center serves Mercer County Housing Authority residents in Western Pennsylvania, a region hard hit by industrial decline since the 1970s, where two out of ten residents live below the poverty level. To meet the needs of MCHA residents, Quinby Street’s library collection consists of 4,000 books and 100 multimedia materials along with six computers and a multiservice meeting room. The facility offers community-based programming, including after-school tutoring, teen programming that reaches more than 100 young people a month. The collection supports MCHA Resident Services department’s mission of “Changing Lives Building Brighter Tomorrows.” The materials from the Book Donation Grant will support the extensive in-house and outreach programming at the Quinby Street Resource Center, which targets youth and their families in the community.
The Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice Center (OCJJC) is an 80-bed facility in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, used for the short-term secure placement of delinquent youth in Oklahoma County. OCJJC has made great strides in the development of a library collection to serve the needs of the youth being detained in the OCJJC, but still lacks relevant and current materials that have been selected specifically for the residents of the facility. The residents do not have access to the most relevant and inviting titles that speak to their interests, desires and imaginations. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Donation Grant has the potential to reduce the rates of recidivism of the youth in Oklahoma County by providing access to relevant and compelling materials that inspire them to become active and productive members of society.
The Book Donation Grant jury split the remaining award between two school-based programs serving children and young adults.
The Muncie P3 program serves 80 students from Kindergarten through third grade who attend Longfellow Elementary School in Muncie, Indiana. Longfellow serves Muncie’s Whitely community, which is 75 percent African American. Ninety-four percent of Longfellow’s African American students receive free or reduced lunch. Muncie P3 will receive children’s titles through the grant program, which will be made available for students to browse after school, used in daily read-aloud sessions and weekly tutoring sessions, a civil rights unit and a Read-to-Self program. The titles from the grant will provide Muncie P3 with quality books that reflect the lives and the culture of the students it serves.
The library at Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School in Cassopolis, Michigan serves an impoverished, largely rural population. Almost 40 percent of the student body is identified as minority, the majority African-American. While the library is much loved and well-used, school funding issues have prevented the purchase of new materials that are relevant to the community. By receiving young adult titles through the CSK Book Donation Grant, the library will be able to supply Beatty students with stories and characters that they can relate to and identify with.
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the American Library Association’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) to encourage the artistic expression of the African-American experience through literature and the graphic arts. To learn more about the Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grant, please visit www.ala.org/csk.