Stateline Community Foundation recently awarded a $1,000 Community Impact Grant to Beloit Public Library (BPL) to support a book giveaway that benefited hundreds of students in the school districts of Beloit and Beloit Turner.
“Beloit Public Library is pleased to receive this grant, making it possible for us to put a couple of hundred signed copies of the book Where We Come From directly into the hands of local students,” said Head of Programming and Community Engagement Jessica Graminske.
The book giveaway was part of an author visit organized by the library for its 2022-2023 BookQuest program, which is supported by a generous donation from the family of Judith H. Adams. All four authors of the book Where We Come From presented their message of unity, diversity, and cultural appreciation to area 4th and 5th graders in the School District of Beloit and School District of Beloit Turner in January.
Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, and John Coy’s book is a unique collaboration with each author lyrically exploring where they came from―literally and metaphorically―as well as what unites us as humans with beautiful illustrations by Dion MDB.
The author visit encouraged students to read, explore their own history, and consider writing their own stories. It also served to promote the BookQuest event – an annual reading program organized by Beloit Public Library for 4th and 5th graders that includes programs, author visits, and book discussions throughout the school year, culminating with a friendly battle-of-the-books-style competition between schools in the spring.
The program’s book titles are curated for both quality and diversity. This year’s list includes titles written by Muslim Voices, Latinx Voices, Asian Voices, and Black Voices and includes messages about characters with disabilities, the environment, and social justice.
The SCF Community Impact Grant supports Beloit Public Library’s mission to provide enriching and inspiring learning opportunities by providing access to books that reflect the diversity of the community. Book giveaways in collaboration with author visits are known to encourage the love of both reading and writing.