ORWELL — The Grand Valley Middle School library received a book boost in the form of a donation from a teacher’s union and nonprofit book supplier.

The Ohio Federation of Teachers, along with nonprofit First Book, recently donated $50,000 for books and supplies for schools across the state. Grand Valley Middle School received $1,200 for its library, according to teachers Amanda Glavickas and Lori Ratschki.

The funds are important to the many school buildings that have cut their library budgets or closed school libraries, according to the Ohio Federation of Teachers. This is true in Grand Valley Middle School, which shuttered the school library in 2014-15 due to budget constraints.

The 2018-19 school year marked the first time the library re-opened after Glavickas and Ratschki volunteered to get it up and running again. Grand Valley Middle School used the funds to buy 116 print books and 13 audio books to add to its library.

Glavickas, who said the library is lovingly referred to as “the little library that could,” said the donation was quickly spent on books.

“It didn’t take us long to spend,” Glavickas said. “We ordered a number of books to replace books that were on their last legs. We ordered some new titles, some more expensive non-fiction books and we were able to order audio books.”

Students were especially excited about the audiobooks, Ratschki said. It has been tough to keep up with shelving and keeping track of all the new books, something Ratschki said “is a good problem to have.”

“We found that a lot of the fifth graders want to be able to read the higher level books, but they are struggling to get there,” Ratschki said. “We were able to purchase those books in audio form. The kids were thrilled that we purchased additional audio. We had some on our shelves but not enough to cover the population that wanted them.”

One thousand dollars might not seem like a large donation, but every bit helps, Ratscki said. Such donations ultimately translate to more books and furthering the endeavor of instilling a passion for reading and learning among the children at Grand Valley Middle School, she said.

“It was a gracious donation and we are thrilled to be able to put more books on the shelves and more books in the hands of our kids,” Ratscki said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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