Ribbon-Cutting Held for BSD Lending Libraries
December 7, 2022 (Batesville, AR) — The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) held a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for the Batesville School District's Lending Libraries.
"While revising the IMPACT Independence County plan, residents identified building a culture of reading as a strategic opportunity for our area to better cultivate the skills and talents of students and strengthen the workforce pipeline," said Jamie Rayford, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce's chief operating officer. "We are so proud of the initiative taken by our schools and community partners. I can confidently say that our community is showing up in unique ways to support our schools' focus on higher literacy rates."
Batesville School District Community Schools Coordinator Laura Howard outlined the partnerships in completing the project, saying, "It's taken a large team from our community to complete this project. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette provided the newspaper boxes, which were restored and powder-coated by Intimidator Group. The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville's Workforce Development Center customized the interior and waterproofed the boxes, and the Chamber helped us with the decals."
At their 2021 Tale Gate Party, BSD collected over 8,500 books, which will now be re-distributed in the Lending Libraries. The Libraries have been placed at First Baptist Church in Desha, the Dollar General stores in Cushman and Sulphur Rock, The Melba Theater in Batesville, La Alegria Mexican Store in west Batesville, Cutters Corner in east Batesville, and the White River Health Children's Clinic. Community members are encouraged to borrow a book from one of the seven locations.
Early this year, The Arkansas Department of Education recognized the Batesville School District as a gold-level R.I.S.E. Community for its commitment to promoting literacy beyond school buildings and into surrounding communities.
"We are so thankful for our community partners," continued Howard. "This project would have been impossible without their help!"
Following the Ribbon-Cutting ceremony, free book bags were distributed to families attending the showing of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at the Melba Theater.
Ambassadors in attendance included: Adam Curtwright (Centennial Bank), Amy Finster (White River Health), Brittney Harris (Independence Off Road), Eva Henriken (Merchants & Planters Bank), and Courteney Muse (Southern Bank).