School gets new books, technology through grant program

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A local elementary school gets a big boost to help students get their hands on new books and new technology. Burns Elementary School was one of 42 schools nationwide to get a new library through a grant program.

Students, educators, and government leaders celebrated the new library together with a ribbon cutting.

Two-thousand new books, new computers, and even a smart board were all part of renovations unveiled at the school's new library.

"It's pretty and you can look around and find new books to read," second grader Makayla Simmons said.

"It's great, and I thank Target for the books and new computers," fourth grader Deltavis Wallace said.

Target and the Heart of America Foundation revamped the library through a national grant program. The students had a hand in picking out paint colors, furniture, and design.

"Reading is so important. When you put a book in a child's hand, you're saying you're a reader, and literacy is important," foundation President Angie Halamandaris said.

In addition to the new books at the library each student and his or her siblings got seven books that they took home and could start their own home libraries.

"That's where learning starts. In the home. You do it because you want to and because you love it, and that book becomes your treasured friend," Charleston County School District Media Services Coordinator Connie Dopierala said.

Students, parents, and their siblings got to tour the new space. It was a motivator to get young people to start leading with reading in the future.

"Most of all it helps turn children on to a lifetime of reading and that's what I'm excited about," District Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley said.

Burns Elementary was the only school in CCSD awarded with a library makeover. Another part of the grant also provides the students with free nutritious fruits and veggies from the Lowcountry Food Bank, that they get to take home once a week.

Heart of America Foundation estimates the library renovations cost $250,000.

Five other schools in CCSD also won a thousand dollars each through the grant, to buy new books.

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