PEOPLE Magazine spotlights local library - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Marmaduke, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

PEOPLE Magazine spotlights local library

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Marmaduke Superintendent Tim Gardner says they were disappointed when they didn't get a grant to upgrade their elementary library, but in the end, he says they got much more than they could have ever imagined.

"All of the schools in the United States and we're one of 16 to be chosen was just amazing," said Gardner.

Gardner says they were chosen to receive a library makeover--thanks to a partnership between People Magazine, Target, and Heart of America.  Their makeover is even featured in the October issue of the magazine.

"When they were here  they were doing Boston and Miami.  I think that was a pull that we were in a rural area.   They haven't done a rural school before," said Marmaduke's Literacy Coach, Melissa Blackburn.

From carpet and paint, to shelves and new books to put on those shelves, the library is a hit.

"Everything's just brand new.  I was really excited about it.   I like all of the new books," said Morton.

The school got 2000 new books, and 5 for each elementary student to take home.  She says these new books and the kids enthusiasm to read them is encouraging.

"If they do not want to read then you can't make them learn to read.   The more they read, the better reader they become.   The better reader they become, the better student they become," said Blackburn.

School officials says students present and in the future are who this renovation is for.  With the highest hopes of giving them a solid foundation now, that they can carry with them long after their days in the halls are done.

"A good foundation in reading early in life is the cornerstone of being successful later on," said Gardner.

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