Mendota Elementary Dist. 289 helps students obtain library cards

MENDOTA ­– Emily Kofoid, Graves-Hume Public Library executive director, thanked Mendota Elementary School District 289 for a recent grant at the Aug. 15 regular board meeting.

The grant allowed 39 families who reside outside the library’s district, but with students within the school district, to obtain a library card.

Although the library offers free library cards for residents, the out-of-district rate is $74 per family, annually.

Letters were sent home with the students this past spring informing parents of the opportunity. Individually, 102 cards were distributed to underserved patrons. “I couldn’t be happier with the numbers. I know it can be a burden on some families to pay the fee,” Kofoid told the board members.

Kofoid noted that she hoped the service would be able to continue in the future, as well.

Also, before the end of the 2019 school year, District 289 students took a field trip to the library to learn about some of the library’s history, programs offered, how to get a library card, and the summer reading program.

Many students were surprised to learn that they have access to over 36,000 books at Graves-Hume Public Library, not including other resources the library has available.

After hosting the library visit days, Kofoid noted that the summer reading program participation was up 10 percent from last year. The library offers many other programs throughout the year, as well. Kofoid hopes that people will start to view the library as more of a community center.

“Just like at the schools, I want students to view the library as a safe place, an educational place, a fun place,” Kofoid said.

“The library’s programming is wonderful, especially for a small town like Mendota. It is so great that students have access to those great activities,” added Paula Daley, Northbrook School principal.

At the meeting, the board reviewed the preliminary budget, as well.

Kristen School, district superintendent, presented the tentative budget with a total deficit of $826,338. The largest portion comes from the Education Fund ($778,348). The expenditures for the Ed Fund include an increase in the salaries due to negotiations as well as increases for non-certified staff, a new accounting software program, and an additional special education teacher and full-time nurse.

Other funds incurring a debt include the O&M Fund ($263,164) and Transportation ($81,044).

In total, projected revenue is $12,531,662 with a projected expenditure of $13,358,000.

The budget will be on display at the District offices. A hearing date is set for Thursday, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m. prior to the regular board meeting.

In Building and Grounds, the board directed School to replace the air compressor and refrigerant for the air conditioning unit in the developmental preschool classroom at a cost of $1,970.

In other action items:

  • The board approved the resignation of Mackenzie Tillman as developmental pre-K paraprofessional and Scott Blessman as Lincoln 2-4 physical education teacher, effective immediately.
  • New employees hired included Erin Sester as special education resource teacher at Lincoln, Nataline El-Jizi as developmental pre-K paraprofessional, Jeannie Matura as pre-K bilingual paraprofessional substitute, and EmLee Dooley as Academic cross categorical substitute teacher at Northbrook. Also approved was Laura Younger as full-time nurse at a salary of $31,120 plus benefits.
  • The board set the non-certified staff substitutes hourly/daily rate increases as follows: cafeteria substitute at $10.25 per hour, full-time custodian at $11.90 per hour, part-time custodian at $10.25 per hour, building secretary sub at $10.25 per hour, teacher aide sub at $10.70 per hour, teacher aide certified sub at $11.55 per hour, noon hour/morning supervisors at $10.75 per hour, registered nurse sub at $18.50 per hour, and substitute teacher at $94 daily.


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