The Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation has decided to fund a district-wide library management system with the proceeds of its annual Phone-a-Thon, which is coming up in two weeks.
The Foundation hopes the phone flood will provide "significant funding" for a new system called Destiny Discover which will connect every library in the district. That will improve student access to printed books, e-books, audio books and research materials.
Students from the district's three high schools will be calling the community on Wednesday, February 27, asking for donations. Real estate developer Tokola Properties has donated $12,000 to kick-off the effort and is challenging the community to meet or exceed their donation.
Destiny Discover will transform the district libraries into one interconnected structure much like a county library system, leveraging district resources. That will allow for easy transfers of materials from one school to another and students could have a requested book in one day.
For example, if a student at one school is doing a report on narwhals, and her school library is short on materials, she could request that perfect narwhal book from another school.
Students can use a free app or their computer and get into Destiny Discover at any time. Destiny Discover is student-friendly and uses a colorful and visual platform that encourages students to browse the district's most recent additions, most popular titles, or their favorite genre in a one-stop, unified system.
The Foundation has used funds raised by the Phone-a-Thon in the last five years to create and maintain an e-library at every school.
Kirsten Calmes, district media coordinator, said "I'm so excited about the way this change will truly transform our school libraries and am so grateful to the Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation for making this happen."
Using Destiny Discover's resource-sharing tool, district teachers will be able to create a unique collection of books, websites or other printed material and share it with any teacher in the district. If a teacher creates a collection on African animals, it can be used in any classroom in the district, for example.
The system will automatically send parents an email when a book is lost or overdue, which may help reduce the district's lost book rate.
Anyone who is interested in making a donation can visit the foundation's website: gbefkids.org/donate/
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