A Killeen elementary school has received a huge grant to help buy new books and instill a love of reading in young students.

Ira Cross Elementary librarian Barbara McYoung was recently honored with a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.

The funds are intended to help McYoung update the library with new materials to catch student's interest and keep them turning the pages as their imaginations are fired.

Get our free mobile app

“We seek to inspire students to become life-long readers with a wide array of reading material,” McYoung said. “This grant has provided the opportunity for us to expand our collection of novels in both text and graphic formats. Students of all reading skill levels will now be able to experience great stories in the classroom and learn to love reading.”

Personally, I can't imagine where I'd be in life if my mother and favorite teachers hadn't encouraged my love of reading. For some kids, their school library may be the only access they have to books, and a passionate librarian can help them find the perfect books to keep them interested in reading, learning, and growing.

“There are many students who don’t have books at home, so having access to a library at school is essential,” Mrs. Bush said on a recent episode of "The Kelly Clarkson Show". “With the grants, school libraries across the nation can restock and update their collections providing opportunities for students for years to come.”

By the way, Mrs. Bush has also released a Summer of 2021 Reading List with fantastic recommendations for young readers through middle school age. You can see the list here, and your local school or public library may have many of these titles.

It's so important that kids learn to love reading and that they keep it up during the summer break. Not only does it keep their minds active and sharpen their reading comprehension skills, but it helps them to explore new ideas, learn empathy and understanding, and explore new worlds and points of view.

Congratulations to Barbara McYoung and the young readers at Ira Cross Elementary! It's so exciting to think about all the awesome new books that will be lining the shelves soon.

10 Myths About Texas That Even Some Natives Believe

Everything's bigger in Texas, including the tall tales! Our state can seem pretty strange to people from far away, or even our immediate neighbors. There are several myths about Texas that range from quirky to fun and just plain ignorant and insulting, and even some people born and raised her believe 'em. Here are a few we can dispel today.

11 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Quotes That Will Give You Hope