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Several Bureau County public schools have received news of their library per capita grants from the state.

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has announced nearly $1.4 million has been awarded to 642 Illinois public school districts for the 2013 fiscal school year.

Grants were awarded based on a formula of 75 cents per student with a minimum grant award of $735.50. The School District Library Grant Program provides funds which can be used for things like the acquisition of library materials to support reading for academics and enjoyment, library subscriptions to electronic resources, or improved technology to support student research, White said.

Princeton Elementary District Media Director Amy Haring said PES is receiving $851.25, based on an enrollment of 1,135 students. This year’s amount is a slight increase from last year of about four cents. The money will be split between the four buildings in the district to buy more nonfiction books to help staff with the implementation of the Common Core standards. Every bit helps to get needed materials, she said.

Bureau Valley District Library Director Sharon Peterson said the Bureau Valley District will receive $804.75, which is down slightly, since the district’s enrollment is down slightly. The money is spread throughout the district with $293 kept at the high school. Peterson said she is spending the high school money on the Abraham Lincoln Award books and will be able to download the books on two Kindles. The remaining money will be shared with the two junior highs and three grade schools for needed materials in those library centers. Based on October numbers, Bureau Valley has an enrollment of 1,073 students.

In other awards, the Ohio High School District received $735.50, based on an enrollment of 35 students. The Ohio Grade School District received $735.50, based on an enrollment of 79 students. The Princeton High School District received $735.50, based on an enrollment of 591 students. Spring Valley Elementary District received $735.50, based on an enrollment of 586 students.

In making the announcement of the per capita grants, White said school libraries are very important in helping students learn and prepare themselves for the future. Studies in recent years have shown students perform better in the classroom in school districts which have strong library media programs.

“Illinois was the first state to implement a school district grant program, and I’m pleased that we can continue to provide school libraries with some of the financial resources they need to produce well-educated students,” White said.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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