Hancock School Public Library receives $212,000 grant from Michigan Department of Education

The library will use the grant to fund a literacy program for 6th graders, add new shelves and furniture, and other improvements.
The Hancock School Public Library received an innovative community library grant totaling...
The Hancock School Public Library received an innovative community library grant totaling $212,000 from the Michigan Department of Education to help improve the library.(WLUC)
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2022 at 4:02 PM EDT
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - The Hancock School Public Library was awarded an Innovative Community Library grant from the Michigan Department of Edcuation this week.

The grant, which totals $212,000, far exceeds the $29,000 the library originally asked for. Part of the money will fund a literacy program proposed by the library manager, Boni Ashburn.

“We’re going to send home pre-loaded Kindles with the 6th grade at the end of the school year,” said Ashburn. “Each Kindle will have 30 books or so on it. They will be able to stay excited about reading, and have material to read over the summer even if they can’t get to the library.”

To apply for the grant, applicants had to propose ways to tackle such problems as filling literacy gaps and increasing community involvement.

Since the partnership between the school library and Portage Lake District Library four years ago, visits to the library have gone from 7,000 to nearly 35,000 a year, a growth grant applicants said helped in the receiving of the grant.

“When you apply for grants, they’re looking to put money where it can have maximum benefit,” said Hancock Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Patchin. “And we’re in a situation right now where our patrons are really appreciating the services we’re offering. The number of visits is up, the number of books that they’re checking out is also up, and I’m sure that played a part in getting awarded this grant.”

The library has big plans for improvements and additions to the library, including adding to its non-fiction section, replacing shelving and furniture, and installing a revamped children’s area.

“We’re going to move our children’s area here into an old computer lab where we’ll be able to have story time and hold all of our young children’s collection,” continued Ashburn. “We’ll be able to have some interactive activities and things for toddlers, preschoolers, etc.”

The library hopes the new additions will add to the continued growth of the library.

It will also be continuing its used book sale tomorrow, running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.