The Wellston School District was established in 1894 and currently educates 600 students in four facilities, including Central Elementary School. Wellston, like many small inner suburbs, was plunged into economic depression and social chaos after the losses of population and declining home values of the post‑World War II era. Test scores had declined to such an extent by the 1990s that the State of Missouri was forced to deny accreditation and take over the school district. The district has ben consolidated and reorganized, with Central Elementary now serving grade levels 1 through 4. Central has slightly less than 200 students and has begun rebuilding the library collection.
Vashon High School is one of a number of schools in the St. Louis City school district that has suffered a plague of financial, political, and severe discipline issues. In January 2006, as part of an effort to create smaller student communities, the superintendent removed the current 9th grade class to a vacant middle school facility in the downtown area, now known as the Vashon Williams Ninth Grade Academy. The academy’s library is in the process of building a library collection to support the students and curriculum. They are in need of all appropriate materials for 14 - 16 year old students. The small amount of funding provided by the school district has allowed the library to purchase only a few reference titles and some fiction items. Currently they have a total of 594 titles (and 653 copies) in their collection. According to the state, the library should have 350 reference titles, 3080 nonfiction titles, and 1530 fiction titles in order to meet minimum standards.
It is easier than ever to donate books to this program. You can go to Amazon.com to choose from the Book Drive Wish Lists (search for "AALL"). A book list for the Wellston students is listed at the "2006 Elementary School List", and Vashon’s list of requested titles can be found on the "2006 9th Grade List". Your donation will be shipped directly to the Book Drive Team. Other options include bringing a donation with you to the conference and donating in person, or sending your donation check made out to AALL to:
Show Me the Books
c/o Ann Puckett
University of Georgia
Alexander Campbell King Law Library
Athens, GA 30602-6018
Please help out with this initiative if you can. I know for a fact that every book and every penny donated goes to the libraries.