Eastridge Elementary battles literacy problems by purchasing bilingual books

Eastridge Elementary is part of the Amarillo Independent School District. It's known for its diverse group of students, where several languages are spoken with a high refugee population. Now it's library is getting some books to help those bilingual students battle literacy issues.

The elementary received a $2,000 Youth Literacy Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Organization. The school found out the good news at the beginning of the school year. Pronews 7 is featuring that good news in this week's Region 16 Spotlight on Education.

That grant will help the library purchase about 150 bilingual books, ranging in holiday themes to animals. Something bilingual students say they're excited about.

"The exciting thing is that bilingual people could actually have more books to read," said third grader, Alejandro Garcia.

Officials say it helps these students learn to read in their native language and then translate it to english, because the books read both spanish and english.

"Eastridge feels like it's very important for students to develop their literacy skills in their native language so they can develop strategies in learning to read and then they can transfer that to the English language," said Eastridge Elementary librarian, Sharon Elam.

Sharon says to get the grant is a lengthy process. "You collaborate with other people and on this grant the previous librarian collaborated with the assistant principal and librarian director and they di this grant online for Dollar General".

She adds, that grants are something school's across the state rely on with budget's being cut.

"Well the grants allow you to do a lot more than you could do with any other kind of budget. It really helps schools because money is tight these days".

The school is picking out the books now and said they hope to have them in the library by the end of October.