Roy-Hart awarded grant for more diversity in library collection

Posted 18 June 2022 at 8:22 am

Provided photo: Pictured from left include Andrew Aquino, a member of the Western New York Library Resources Council; Kelly Cousins, high school media specialist; and senior Adyn Migliore.

Press Release, Roy-Hart Central School

MIDDLEPORT – Royalton-Hartland Library Media Specialist Kelly Cousins is pleased to announce that the High School library has been awarded $500 from the Western New York Library Resources Council.

The money is from WNYLRC’s High School to College Committee’s (HS2C) Diversity in Collections Grant for 2022.

“Thanks to the efforts of our students: Evan Gerdes, JJ Johnson, Adyn Migliore, Thomas Russo and Rio Wood who identified and articulated a need for disability inclusion, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and cultural diversity in our library’s collection, the grant money will be used to purchase materials for our collection that address our literacy goals,” said Ms. Cousins.

The team of students used their creativity by making a 5-minute video that detailed the need for these resources in the school’s library.

“I am incredibly proud of the work these students put into something that obviously had deep meaning for them,” Cousins said.  “They interviewed students and staff on camera and then edited it into a strong statement about inclusiveness.  According to Andrew Aquino, member of WNYLRC High School to College Committee, and Public Services Librarian at Niagara County Community College, we were one of only a few schools who submitted a video. The committee was impressed to see student, teacher and administrative involvement.”

In a letter to Ms. Cousins, the WNYLRC said, “Your actions underscore the HS2C Committee’s goal of supporting school librarians who seek to break down some of the negative feelings and beliefs of students when they feel underrepresented in the materials they are asked to read in school.  Giving children opportunities to both see themselves reflected in what they read as well as to be able to discover others not like them in these titles will help to break down some of the negative feelings and prejudicial beliefs they might otherwise have.”