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$20k awarded to Times area school districts through state library grants

25 districts get at least $750 for library improvements

More than $20,000 was awarded to school districts within The Times coverage area.

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White awarded more than $1.2 million in 2020 School District Library Grant Program awards statewide to 684 public school districts, including 25 within The Times coverage area, totaling $20,801.25.

The Sandwich Unit School District was the largest recipient in the area, pulling in $1,428, while Ottawa Elementary was awarded $1,358.25 and Streator Elementary $1,069.50. All other area districts received less than $1,000, including Ottawa High at $987.75, Streator High at $750 and Marseilles Elementary at $750.

More than 1.5 million Illinois students served by school library programs will benefit from the grants.

“As a former public school teacher and administrator, I know our school libraries are very important in helping students learn and prepare themselves for the future,” White said in a press statement. “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.”

From FY 2020 appropriations approved by the General Assembly and the governor, school library grants were awarded based on a formula of $0.75 per student, with a minimum grant award of $750. School libraries can use the funds to acquire fiction and/or nonfiction books, educational CDs and DVDs, and library subscriptions to electronic resources, as well as to improve technology by purchasing new computers or improving Wi-Fi connectivity.

Grant awards by school district:

Sandwich $1,428

Ottawa Elementary: $1,358.25

Streator Elementary: $1,069.50

Ottawa High: $987.50

La Salle-Peru High: $928.50

Mendota Elementary: $779.25

Cornell: $750

Earlville: $750

Flanagan-Cornell: $750

La Salle Elementary: $750

Leland: $750

Marseilles Elementary: $750

Mendota High: $750

Milton Pope: $750

Newark High: $750

Oglesby: $750

Paw Paw: $750

Peru Elementary: $750

Seneca Grade: $750

Seneca High: $750

Serena (Unit 2): $750

Somonauk: $750

Streator High: $750

Wallace: $750

Woodland: $750

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