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UA helps three schools

Three Dallas County schools will have a little extra to smile about this holiday season.

J.E. Terry Elementary, Shiloh Elementary and Southside High School were three public schools that were chosen as recipients of the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies 2011 SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt Program.

The program awarded more than $7,000 in free books this month to elementary, middle and high school libraries in the Black Belt Region. Of the more than 20 applicants, six schools were chosen to receive more than $1,000 each in new books for children and teens. Schools were chosen based on criteria such as current age of school library collection  (average publication date) and the number of books available per student.

“This program is just one of the many ways in which the School of Library and Information Studies gives back to our local community, region and state,” FosterEBSCO Endowed professor for SLIS and program organizer Dr. Jamie C. Naidoo said in a released statement.

Shiloh principal Aaron McKinley said Shiloh is thankful for the reward.

“I’m honored that a university such as the University of Alabama will provide an avenue for our babies to enhance their reading,” McKinley said. “I know the babies will be impacted by the books.”

Shiloh, McKinley said, will hand-select each book for its students.

“And (they) will be geared toward advancing our babies reading level and exposing them to new material,” McKinley said.

Dallas County Schools superintendent of education Fannie McKenzie said the purchase of library books opens children up to a new world.

“We are very appreciative of the funds provided by the University of Alabama,” McKenzie said. “The funds will be used to purchase books to continue to enhance educational programming within the schools for which they are targeted.”
Established in 2009, the SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt is an annual program that provides free books to school library media centers in the Black Belt region.

Southside principal Clarence Jackson was unavailable for comment.

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