SANTA BARBARA. Calif. - The California State Library awarded the Santa Barbara Public Library System a $10,000 grant to purchase bilingual children's books.
The grant is part of the California Immigrant Alliance Project, funded through the Library Services and Technology Act, a federal program administered by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. These new books will be added to the system's existing collections of all branches of the library system, including the Central, Eastside, Goleta, Montecito, Carpinteria, Solvang and Buellton libraries.
According to recent data indicates that 32% of students in Santa Barbara County are classified as English learners.
"These books are going to be a great way to help them. Not only with proficiency in English, but also improve their literacy skills in Spanish. It's also a great opportunity for children whose caregivers and parents might not be proficient English speakers to share a love of reading and literacy," said Molly Wetta, senior librarian for youth services, programming and marketing at the Santa Barbara Public Library.
The books were ordered, but libraries are always looking for donations of bilingual books.