From Throwing Chanclas:
I live in a town of 1200 people in the Northern Sierra Nevada –where it meets the Cascade Range near Mt. Lassen National Park and about two hours drive northwest of Reno, NV. Two hundred of that population is students. Over the years as the population dwindled after mines closed, then mills–nothing except tourism and retirement have emerged as ‘industries.’ Many businesses have closed down and with it many things we take for granted—like libraries.
The local junior/senior high school has not been able to purchase new books since the 90s. Some of the “check outs” for old books are in the 1980s. There are no books by people of color in the library. Hardly any books by women are in the few book cases except your standard Austen and Lee. It’s an uninviting place. There hasn’t been a librarian for nearly a decade. And volunteers weren’t allowed. The last eight years students couldn’t even check out books.
. . . .
Greenville Junior/Senior High School and Indian Valley Academy, which share the library space have new leadership which are welcoming the idea of revamping the library. Both principals want to see the area’s students supported and reading. Like most of rural America we have no budget for such things as books, film, music , and other media and arts.
I’ve lived here 13 years. I’ve watched kids succumb to despair. Our suicide and alcohol abuse is rampant as it is in many small rural communities. 75% of our county is beautiful national forest. 44% of jobs are government jobs—mostly forest service. There used to be mills but they closed down in the 90s. So much of that other 56% is underemployed and unemployed. It’s a beautiful place to live but it’s also a scary place for the mind to atrophy. We have a median income of under 30K. At the local elementary school 2/3 of students qualify for free lunch. Getting the picture?
. . . .
We need racially diverse books. We need graphic novels. We need women’s studies. We need science. We need series. We need film. We need comics. We need music. We need biographies of important people. Looking for Young Adult. Classics. We want zines! Contemporary. Poetry. Everything that would make a difference in a young person’s life. Writers send us YOUR BOOK. We have many non-readers who we’d love to turn on to reading. We need a way to take this tiny area and bring it into the 21st century. We have a whole bunch of kids who don’t like to read because all they’ve ever been given is things that are either dull , dated, or dumbed down.
The students who are excelling are doing so because they have supportive parents at home and access to books and tablets elsewhere. But most students are without.
So here’s what I’m asking. Will you donate a book? A real book. Something literary or fun—something that speaks to your truth, their truths. Something that teaches them something about the world. Makes them feel less alone?
I’m not asking for money. I’m asking for you to send a new book or film or cd to us to help us build a library we can be proud of. Just one book.
. . . .
So who is with us?
Send us one book.
Greenville High School/Indian Valley Academy
Library Project Attn: Margaret Garcia
117 Grand Street
Greenville, CA 95947
Thank you for your support.
If sending during the month of July (when school is closed) please send to
Library Project/Margaret Garcia
PO Box 585
Greenville, CA 95947
Link to the rest at Throwing Chanclas and thanks to Krista for the tip.
Greenville High School has an Amazon Wishlist.
PG sent the school a copy of Fahrenheit 451.