Wood Library Receives Barbara Park Memorial Grant
It’s amazing what new books can bring to a school community! On February 12, Wood Librarian Malinda Maruca was excited to find out that Wood Elementary was selected as one of 50 school libraries in Arizona to receive the Barbara Park Memorial Grant. This grant has awarded $500 toward new books for their school!
Barbara Park was a well-known author who is famous for writing the Junie B. Jones book series. Park died in 2013 of ovarian cancer and her husband has continued her legacy by awarding up to $20,000 in grants each year to support literacy in elementary schools to honor his wife.
“It’s important to refresh our libraries and buy new books because over time, books get outdated and fall apart,” explained Maruca. “Also, new authors arise with some amazing books that peak our students’ interest!”
Maruca is currently accepting suggestions from Wood staff and students regarding what books they would like to see in the library.
“Students love new books! Their faces light up after I introduce a new book series and within a matter of seconds, the whole book series is checked out!” said Maruca. “It makes me happy to see students so excited to get their hands on the new books.”
Wood Elementary is not the only Tempe Elementary School District library that has received the Barbara Park Memorial Grant. Connolly Middle School and Scales Technology Academy have also been awarded this grant to update their school libraries!
In her second year, Maruca has learned a lot about what it takes to be an engaging school librarian. Her passion inspires her students to grow their love of reading each and every day!
“I am fortunate to have a career where my job is to make kids fall in love with reading,” said Maruca. “I get to introduce them to new authors, teach them reading strategies to comprehend stories, and introduce them to fun new apps on the iPads that support reading. I love my job!”
Thank you to Maruca and to all our school librarians! We appreciate your impact teaching and inspiring our students to become lifelong readers!