Bookmarks Receives $25,000 Grant from the Mebane Foundation to Support Bookmarks in Schools Program
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 6, 2018) – Bookmarks received a $25,000 grant from the Mebane Foundation to support its Bookmarks in Schools program this spring. As part of the program, 500 first graders at Ashley Academy, Bolton, Moore, Speas, and Ward Elementary Schools will receive two visits by award-winning authors along with copies of two hardcover picture books to start their own home library.
In addition, Bookmarks is working with each school to purchase $1,000 worth of books specifically highlighting pre-K through first grade early literacy. These funds will help improve each school’s library by replacing out-of-date books and adding new books for circulation that include titles that are reflective of the diverse students that attend these schools.
“By early May, over 1,500 books will be donated to these local elementary schools thanks to this grant,” Ginger Hendricks, Bookmarks Executive Director said. “We hope these students will make wonderful memories from meeting these authors and will enjoy the two amazing books they will receive.”
The two featured authors are local to Forsyth county: Kyle Webster, author and illustrator of Please, Say Please!, who visited the schools in March, and Stacy McAnulty, author of multiple books including most recently Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, who will visit in April.
“Mr. Webster’s visit to Moore was extraordinary,” Principal Adam Dovico said. “His connection with the students, along with his positive message and ability to share his story in an inspirational manner made it a fantastic experience for our first graders. The kids left truly thinking—‘I can be an illustrator and author too!’”
Since 1998, the Mebane Foundation has focused on a simple proposition to help address a complex, deeply-rooted problem: the Foundation will do everything in its power to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, will be reading at or above grade level by the end of the 3rd grade. Research consistently shows that these children are vastly more likely to succeed in school, in work, and in life. The Foundation has served as a catalyst by granting more than $13 million to educational program partners across the state while simultaneously leveraging that amount, dollar for dollar, in public-private partnerships.
The Bookmarks in Schools program has expanded to not only encompass Authors in Schools visits, which reached 9,100 students in 2017, but also serves as a resource sharing its staff’s expertise to help schools choose and order new books.
Bookmarks is a literary arts nonprofit organization that fosters a love of reading and writing in the community. The programming connects readers with authors and books and is achieved through the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas to be held September 6–9, 2018; an Authors in Schools program, which reaches 9,000 students annually; and year-round events in their gathering space and nonprofit independent bookstore that opened July 8, 2017. Visit bookmarksnc.org for more information.