TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Two teachers in the Twin Falls School District have recently been awarded grants to supply more reading material in their classrooms.

Emily Martin, a fourth-grade teacher at Morningside Elementary, and Tanna Fajardo, third-grade teacher at Rock Creek Elementary, each were awarded $500 through James Patterson and Scholastic. The money is to buy books to build up the classrooms’ libraries.

“I just received a box of books this morning,” Martin said on Thursday. The grants were awarded on Sept. 7.

Martin said before she received the grant there were about 100 books in her classroom’s library, but with the money she spent so far for new books it now contains about 300 volumes. Previously, some students would complain that there wasn’t anything for them to read.

“Now there is something for everyone,” she said. The new books include a variety of genres, from fiction to nonfiction to graphic novels.

Over at Rock Creek, Fajardo used most of her money for nonfiction books. She said with more and more students involved with STEM learning, she wanted to have books that were geared in that direction.

“I’ve used some of it, not all of it yet,” she said of the grant. “I was able to get well over 100 books.”

Books are the main push of the grant awards, but recipients may also use the money for other things that help the classroom become more library-oriented, such as installing new shelving.

Fajardo said books are something she can never have enough of for her students, and when she applied for the grant she marked “books.”

“That’s probably true for a lot of teachers,” she said.

Martin said teachers often rely on grants to help classrooms, but there have been times when she has spent her own money for needed supplies.

Not every student likes to read, she said, but if students can find a book that interests them, they often start to realize there are joys to be found in reading. Having a variety of books in her classroom helps in that process.


More From News Radio 1310 KLIX