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Elm, Prospect schools earn reading grants from state organization

An Elm School student works on an activity in the school’s Media Resource Center. | Provided
An Elm School student works on an activity in the school’s Media Resource Center. | Provided

Two schools in Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary School District 181 are celebrating the receipt of grants from the Illinois School Library Media Association/Library Book Selection Service. The grants allow the schools to receive a set of the books nominated for the Illinois reader’s choice awards.

The Bluestem and Monarch award program committees publish a list of 20 nominated titles each year.

Students are encouraged to read the books and then vote for their favorite in the spring. The Bluestem Award is for students in third through fifth grades while the Monarch Award is for students in kindergarten and first through third grades.

Elm School in Burr Ridge received the Bluestem grant and will receive the 20 books nominated for the 2015 Bluestem Award.

“Our students will read these books and vote for their favorite in March,” Media Resource Center Director Jill Berry said. “In 2014, 80 Elm students were eligible to vote by reading at least four books from the list of 20 titles.”

Berry said that 30 of those 80 students read all of the books on the 2014 list. The 2014 Bluestem Award winner was “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio.

Prospect School in Clarendon Hills received the Monarch grant and will receive the 20 books nominated for the 2015 Monarch Award. Media Resource Center Director Becky Haagsma notes that 196 Prospect students in kindergarten through second grades were eligible to vote by reading at least five books from the list.

“Prospect is also very proud that 19 second graders read all 20 books on the Monarch list this year,” she said.

The 2014 Monarch Award winner was “The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School” by Laura Murray.

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