Jones County Schools awarded AASL Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/20/2019


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Jones County Schools in North Carolina has been awarded $7,060 as part of the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) Inspire Disaster Recovery Grant program. The grant program, sponsored by AASL member and retired middle school librarian Marina “Marney” Welmers, supports public middle or high school libraries that incurred damage or hardship due to a natural disaster, fire, or an act recognized by the federal government as terrorism. Thirty-thousand dollars in funding is available annually.

In September of 2018, floodwaters from Hurricane Florence devastated rural Jones County. The county had been comprised of two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. After the flooding, only one elementary school and the high school remained. All 155 students from the middle school were transferred to the high school. Grant monies will be used to supplement the current library collection to include a partial collection of books suitable for the displaced middle school population. Middle school librarian Lorin Grimmett and  high school librarian Beverly Hines will collaborate to provide the students with an array of materials and resources to enhance their learning. 

"I am thrilled to see Jones County Schools receive this grant," said LeeAnna Mills, grant committee chair. "Grant funds will directly impact close to 500 students as their schools are restored. It will also fund much-needed print and digital materials as well as equipment to take VR field trips. Funding remains limited for these students to take physical trips, and the collaborative efforts of the school librarians highlight the way school libraries provide opportunities to extend learning beyond the school walls."

The AASL award winners will be recognized at the AASL Awards Ceremony during the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. All are welcome to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers during this recognition event.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.