- Batesville School District
Lending Library Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Batesville School District’s Lending Libraries.
The libraries will utilize former newspaper boxes to distribute books for community members to borrow and read.
Batesville Community Schools Director Laura Howard outlined the partnerships in completing the project.
“It’s taken a large team from our community to complete this project,” she said. “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,” the district collected over 8,500 books, which will now be re-distributed in the Lending Libraries.
- 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 in surrounding communities.
“We are so thankful to our community partners,” said Howard. “This project would have been impossible without their help.”
“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.”
Following the ceremony, free book bags were distributed to families attending the showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Melba Theater.
Chamber 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).