Area student children have access to diverse books - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Area student children have access to diverse books

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Some area children will soon be able to have access to books they can relate to.

Amarillo children at Eastridge Elementary, and Houston and Bowie Middle Schools will soon be able to choose from hundreds of newly updated library books, as well as ones they can relate to with their diverse backgrounds.

This is all possible thanks to the Laura Bush Foundation $5,000 grant they've received. Bowie Librarian Amy Pairis says, "Our collection needs to be updated because kids aren't going to be interested in books that are old and outdated."

Pairis says Bowie has a lot of low-achieving students. And they need to offer high-interest current material to get them more excited about reading. She says, "The community is very diverse for Bowie. And our kids don't really have a lot of print-rich environments in their home. So to have more books in our library is going to get them more excited about their choices that they're going to be able to read."

Area librarians say if the children read more, it'll help them do better on STAAR tests as well as academics in general. A lot of Eastridge students are immigrants and refugees coming from around 20 different cultures.

Eastridge Elementary Librarian Lynne McLaughlin says, "So the kids at our school have different interests and different things that are important to them than another school's in town. So this grant I wrote to help them get books and materials that are of high interest to them."

The middle school children will have access to new science and history books. And the younger ones, sports and comic books. They'll also be able to select multicultural literature.

McLaughlin says, "I'm hoping that this grant will give them some materials that will make them feel more comfortable. And more at home. So that they'll be more willing and anxious to read those materials."

The new books will be available in just a few weeks.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.