I've recently been hired to be a school librarian at a high school At a detention center (correctional facility) for kids who are grade 7-12 age. I LOVE this job, these kids, this place. I BELIEVE in what they do. They're a private facility and not a direct link to the Dept. Of Corrections but it's the closest anagoly I can get for those who are familiar. This is a place that is non lock down AND it's a "hand off" meaning that we don't hit the kids. or use any sort of physical restraining unless there is an absolute necessity (ie- a kids hurting him/herself).
That being said, I work in the facility's school library. And we are POOR. Of course.
I've been researching grants so I can buy stuff for the library books to have a book club, and funds to sponsor an "art and lecture" series. We have a decent budget for books and supplies but there is NOTHING extra. At all.
My idea for an "art and lecture" series is to bring in guest speakers who would give a 15-20 minute program and then teach the students how to do a craft/ art project. I have a woman in town who makes jewelry. She could come in and tell her story and then show the students how to make something. I would need money to cover the cost of materials. I know of a woman who makes her skeins of wool yarn. It would be awesome for her to share the process and let the kids knit a hat. Ditto a candle maker. Ditto a soap maker. Ditto an organic gardener. These people will donate their time and sell me supplies at cost but I need money for the "cost" part.
As for book club, I want to be able to get 10 books a month so 9 kids (and me) can participate each month. I would like the students to be able to keep the books if they want- I can't even begin to explain how much would mean to some to these kids to be "given" a book. (And I have a sign up process so different kids will be able to participate monthly; I don't want it to be the same kids over and over.)
Any suggestions of where to go for money, please let me know. I know about our community foundation, local churches, and utility company foundations. I used to write grants for a living in a previous lifetime, so I know the basic drill. But I've been out of the game for awhile and it can't help to give me some ideas, please!!!!
The problem I have is that we have a development office who writes grants for stuff for the entire facility and I'm not "ALLOWED" to write to the same places. I understand, on principle. But I want a couple hundred bucks where they ask for several THOUSANDS.
Someone suggested I tap into private individuals I know who would give some money. Ummm, okay. I don't that many individuals who could give me $100 a month so I can do book club, and another $50-100 a month for art and lecture. I'm going to give that a whirl. I know I could just ask people for whatever they can give, and do it in small increments, and that's probably what I will do.
So, I'm cheating and starting here. If any readers would like to make a donation to the library for either of these projects, please let me know. I can start a paypal account, or for those of you who know me/ trust me, I'll give you my address and you can send the funds to me, made out to the school of course. And I can provide a receipt- tax deduction!
One person suggested I post the titles of the books I want to see if people would donate a copy (copies) rather than send money. That is such a brilliant idea!!!
If you want to provide the book club with a copy of any of the following please leave me a comment and I'll get you the address.
We need 10 copies of each book. Here are the first three we want to start with, for Feb.-April
Thanks in advance for donations!
- Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Maggie the Librarian
PS- In my opinion, no book club is complete without food. Since I, ironically, picked two books with food titles, I'm going to fix pie and, of course, Lemon Cake! (thank you, Jain...)