Faculty, students, trustees and special guests gathered at Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy on May 18 as the school received a grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.
Blackshear was one of six Austin ISD schools to receive grants that totaled $37,000.
The former first lady—who once served AISD's students as a librarian at Dawson Elementary School—was on hand to talk about the importance of reading.
"This is a happy day for me to be here at AISD," Bush said. "This is where my girls went to high school. It's fun to be in this school district that means so much to me."
Six schools in Austin ISD will receive grants up to $7,000 each, as part of more than $820,000 in grants being awarded to 123 schools in 35 states.
Other AISD schools to earn grants were Uphaus Early Childhood Center, Dobie Pre-Kindergarten Center, Reilly Elementary School, Palm Elementary School and Travis High School.
Blackshear's librarian, Roger Grape, wrote the grant proposal to the foundation after taking part in a grant-writing workshop in the fall.
"We realized Blackshear had a need for more books on the arts to go along with [our] fine arts program," Grape said. "Books nowadays are between $20–$35, but e-books are accessible via any Internet-based device. We constantly have to be looking for grant opportunities to keep our library relevant."