Middle School Awarded $3,000 Grant For Books

POCOMOKE –  Students at Pocomoke Middle School will soon have access to thousands of new books thanks to a grant from the Nora Roberts Foundation.

Staff were advised at the beginning of March that Pocomoke Middle School had received a $3,000 grant from the Nora Roberts Foundation to purchase diverse literature for the school’s library. Media Specialist Jennifer Beach applied for the grant last fall.

“We identified a need to restructure our library to include authors and books that reflected our diverse population,” Beach said. “We’re going to be buying more books our students can connect with.”

Beach said the library was the hub of Pocomoke Middle School, which serves students in grades four through eight.

“A lot of our books are worn,” Beach said. “They’ve been loved a lot.”

Principal Matthew Record agreed and said that while the school’s library was well stocked, it could certainly benefit from some fresh material.

“We’ve got good books but the more kids use them the more they need to be replaced,” he said.

Beach said she decided to apply for the grant last fall in an effort to add more diverse books to the school’s supply. She selected titles based on recommendations from Project LIT, a network of book groups that aims to get kids excited about reading by highlighting relevant books.

Record said last week the school would be placing its book order immediately, in an effort to get the new reading material to students as quickly as possible. He said getting the news that the school received the grant was a pleasant surprise.

“Sometimes when you apply to a national foundation, we understand our need but we have to hope that the foundation understands that need,” he said.

He added that while Worcester County provided plenty of financial support to the school system, opportunities for outside funding gave educators the chance to improve existing initiatives.

“This additional funding enhances our current programs,” Record said. “I believe it’s our job as a school to seek additional funding from outside sources.”

According to its website, the Nora Roberts Foundation was created in 2001 by author Nora Roberts as a way to support organizations promoting literacy, children, the arts and humanitarian efforts.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.