In September 2019, the Idaho Lottery, along with the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL), implemented the Bucks for Books initiative to benefit elementary school libraries throughout Idaho. The Lottery’s VIP members were invited to donate their points to the program, with 200 points equaling one new library book. Thanks to the generosity of the Idaho Lottery’s VIP members, the Idaho Lottery’s goal was reached in one day!

The Idaho Lottery provided $30,000 in funding to 12 elementary schools. The funds were awarded through a grant application process, in amounts of between $1,000 and $3,000. In December 2019, the Idaho Lottery and ICfL presented the 12 school libraries with the funds and a big box of new books, which were purchased with money raised by the Lottery at bookfairs held at Barnes & Noble.

“We have been extremely fortunate to partner with the Idaho Lottery to provide grants to elementary schools for the improvement of their book collections,” said Jeannie Standal, school library consultant for the Idaho Commission for Libraries. “The grants are used exclusively for books, which so many of our schools have little or no budget to fund. In Idaho, 28 percent of elementary school libraries have an annual book budget of $100 or less, so the funds from the Idaho Lottery are an amazing gift that will help young students through the Gem State.”

The following elementary schools received the Bucks for Books funding: Bryan Elementary School, in Coeur d’Alene; Central Elementary School, in Nampa; Harrison Elementary School, in Twin Falls; Hillcrest Elementary School, in Boise; Malad Elementary School, in Malad; Naples Elementary School, in Naples; Payette Primary School, in Payette; Riggins Elementary, in Riggins; Shoshone Elementary, in Shoshone; Tiebreaker Elementary, in Idaho Falls; Van Buren Elementary School, in Caldwell; and West Elementary School, in Mountain Home.

The Idaho Lottery plans to run the Bucks for Books program again in September 2020.

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The Central Elementary School principal, Ryan Hill (left), and librarian, Mrs. Schafer, were very excited to receive the books and funds from the Idaho Lottery and ICfL.