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Parents Jump In to Help PMSA Library

January 18, 2013 04:55 PM
Forest Park, IL...At the beginning of the current school year, teachers and administrators at Proviso Math and Science Academy wanted to start a schoolwide literacy campaign.

With budget concerns hovering overhead, they decided to ask parents directly to help at Back to School Night in September.

"We had the ears of the parents and wanted to start a schoolwide literacy campaign," said Ms. Kim Echols, principal at PMSA. "We decided to ask parents to partner up with us to add on to our collection. We thought if parents [donated books], they could help with our literacy campaign."

After the initial asking, the donations began to come in. The school’s Parent Teacher Organization, or PTO, said that they would match every donation given by parents. That has led to 34 books having been donated to the school’s library to date, all helping to boost reading at PMSA.

The contributions have been mostly young adult fiction books such as Matched by Ally Condie. Matched is the first book in a three-part series that has been proven to be popular among the students, said Shoshana Gray, librarian at PMSA.

"That’s important because the kids get hooked on a series," she said. "We have a lot of avid readers at PMSA. Once one or two kids start going, they tell their friends."

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that a parent being involved in their child’s education helps to boost their achievement in the classroom and beyond.

"We have excellent parent involvement here in District 209, and we value it greatly," she said. "When parents partner with the school, good things can and do happen."

Even with the books that have been collected, parents and other community members can still contribute to the PMSA library, Ms. Gray said. She said that there are still books on a wish list that students hope to be able to check out from the school library.

"We can always use more copies (of popular books)," she said. "We’re all about getting the kids to read. Every little bit helps."

To view the wish list, go to and search under wish lists.


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