Bucks for Books logoThe Idaho Commission for Libraries and the Idaho Lottery Commission have partnered to support Idaho’s elementary school libraries. Most elementary school libraries in Idaho have insufficient funds to provide high-quality, age-appropriate books for their students to read at school or take home. With about 43% of Idaho school children qualifying for free or reduced lunch, many students are unlikely to have their own collection of books at home. Consequently, many Idaho children do not have access to enough reading material to become proficient readers, the basis for all other academic learning.

Thanks to the generosity of the Idaho Library Commission and those who play the lottery, Idaho’s elementary school libraries have the opportunity to apply for awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 to buy library books in the 2020-2021 school year.

Barnes & Noble Supports School Libraries!

Use these vouchers when shopping at Barnes & Noble September 12-18, 2020 to contribute a percentage of your purchase to support Idaho’s elementary school libraries!

This program is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible by the Idaho Lottery Commission.

The 2012 Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Plan states: “School libraries should have a minimum of 20 books per child to enable children to take multiple books home at each visit. This figure also takes into consideration the needs of teachers to have access to quality trade books to support the Common Core. In addition, it is recommended that…two new books per child should be added to the school library collection each year to allow for the addition of important new titles. Books and other literary materials must be updated annually…. Research suggests that at least five to eight books per child are necessary to support choice and motivation to read.”

Data from the Commission’s September 2012 Public Elementary School Library Study by Boise State University literacy professor Dr. Roger Stewart shows that most school districts spend very little if anything on reading materials for their elementary school libraries. The 2013 average price for a new hardback children’s book is $19.03 (School Library Journal, 6/2013). Dr. Stewart’s study found that 62 percent of Idaho elementary school libraries reported annual book budgets from their districts of under $1,000 – which would purchase a maximum of 52 books. Twenty-eight percent had budgets of under $100 – which would purchase a maximum of five books. These numbers fall extremely short of the Literacy Plan’s recommendations.

Most Idaho elementary school libraries have insufficient budgets to provide quality, age-appropriate books for their students to either read at school or take home. With 50 percent of Idaho school children qualifying for free or reduced lunch, many of them are not likely to have age-appropriate reading material at home. The result is that many Idaho children do not have access to enough reading materials to become proficient readers, the basis required for all other learning.

Thanks to the generosity of the Idaho Lottery and its VIP members, $30,000 in funding has been made available to Idaho’s elementary school libraries to purchase age-appropriate books for students to check out from the school library and take home to read with their adults. School libraries may apply for funding in amounts of $1,000 to $3,000 in $1,000 increments.

The 2020-2021 Bucks for Books Application is OPEN until October 15, 2020!

The 2020-2021 Idaho Lottery Bucks for Books Award Program is open to all publicly-funded elementary schools in Idaho that staff a library with a paid, contracted staff member.  Weight will be given to school library programs that serve the highest proportion of low-income students.

Any school that received a Bucks for Books award in the 2019-2020 school year is ineligible for the 2020-2021 Bucks for Books award program.

Find the application for the 2020-2021 Bucks for Books Award Program here!  The application deadline is Friday, October 16, 2020.

Check this document to see if your school received a Bucks for Books award last year.

2020-2021.

Application window open now!

2019-2020.

ICfL received 88 applications requesting a total of $232,000 and was able to award $30,000 in Bucks for Books Awards—ranging from $1,000 to $3,000—to 12 schools.  Congratulations this year’s awardees, who were from school districts in all six regions of Idaho.

Check this list for 2019-2020 participating schools.

Questions? Contact Jeannie Standal