2020 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants announced

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/14/2020


Monica Chapman

Project Coordinator, CSK Book Awards & ODLOS Round Tables


American Library Association



CHICAGO – Companions Journeying Together (Illinois), Impact Academy (Indiana) and Marshallville Public Library (Georgia) have been selected to receive books as part of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Donation Grant program.

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 demonstrating need and potential benefit from receiving the collection. All winners will receive copies of titles submitted to the 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Awards, including a full set of the year’s winner and honor books.

Companions Journeying Together's (Western Springs, Illinois) Aunt Mary's Storybook Program is an innovative project that “gives imprisoned and detained parents a chance to pick out books for their children and be recorded reading them aloud—then sends the books and recordings home, so their kids can hear their voices at bedtime.” By giving books to children, this project is a good way to encourage children to read. This project, which operates in 16 county jails and state prisons across Illinois, allows children who may not have access to books to receive a book of their own to keep and is a prime example of how parents can reach their children through reading.

Indianapolis’s Impact Academy is unique because it serves children in grades 2 – 12 from diverse backgrounds in five satellite residential centers. "Since our students are in these locked facilities with little to occupy their time outside the school day, reading could provide an escape. Reading of other places and times outside their four walls would expand their horizons and ensure them that there’s a whole big world out there to explore and learn," said Scott McWilliams, executive director of Companions Journeying Together. Students would be able to read books by authors who look like them and with characters that they may be able to relate to on an individual level. Keeping the books in the English classrooms, would give students an opportunity to read and expand their knowledge about African Americans.

Marshallville Public Library, a small library in rural Georgia, stood out for its dedication to the children in the community through various programs. The public library is really the center gathering place and to some extent the hub for education outside of schools. Of note is that the Library hosts a summer breakfast project which offers daily meals for the children of Marshallville. The Coretta Scott King Book Donation would help students in the area and provide them with more opportunities to read. Additionally, the students will benefit from having an opportunity to learn more about African American people. The emphasis on helping the community, working to increase the literacy rates, and providing a place for student engagement were some of the main reasons why Marshallville Public Library is deserving of this book donation.

Members of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Grant Standing Committee are: Chair Bina Williams, Bridgeport (Connecticut) Public Library; Rebecca Davis, Simmons University; Jennifer Gladkowski, Village Community School; LeRoy LaFleur, Harvard College Libraries; Lauren Kratz, Los Angeles Public Library; and Fatima Perkins, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience through literature and the graphic arts. Since 1969, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards annually recognize outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The awards are presented by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Community of the American Library Association’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Community includes the Book Award Jury (which also awards the John Steptoe New Talent Award), the Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award Jury, and standing committees focusing on topics including Archives and History, Nominating, Programs, Public Relations/Marketing, Publications, and Technology. To learn more about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, visit their website: http://www.ala.org/rt/emiert/cskbookawards