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Bester Elementary School is awarded classic books

April 24, 2006

WASHINGTON - The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded free copies of classic books to 2,000 public schools - including Bester Elementary School in Hagerstown - and military libraries throughout the United States and overseas.

C. Burr Artz Library and St. John Regional Catholic School Media Center in Frederick County, Md., also will receive the books.

Each library will receive the 15 classic books on the theme of "Becoming American" from the We the People Bookshelf, along with copies of three of the titles offered also in Spanish.

The new awards are part of the Endowment's We the People program, which supports projects that strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture, according to an NEH press release.

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The awards will go to neighborhood, military and public school libraries, as well as libraries at private schools, charter schools and home-school cooperatives, throughout the United States, each of which will receive a set of the 15 books, posters, bookmarks and other promotional materials from the NEH through the American Library Association.

The We the People Bookshelf on "Becoming American" contains the following books:

Grades K-3

  • "The Lotus Seed" by Sherry Garland

  • "Watch the Stars Come Out" by Riki Levinson (also in a Spanish edition)

  • "Grandfather's Journey" by Allen Say


Grades 4-6

  • "Immigrant Kids" by Russell Freedman

  • "The People Could Fly: The Picture Book" by Virginia Hamilton

  • "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving (also in a Spanish edition)

  • "In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson" by Bette Bao Lord


Grades 7-8

  • "Rifles for Watie" by Harold Keith

  • "The Glory Field" by Walter Dean Myers

  • "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith

  • "Dragonwings" by Laurence Yep


Grades 9-12

  • "Death Comes for the Archbishop" by Willa Cather (also in a Spanish edition)

  • "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" edited by Louis P. Masur

  • "Barrio Boy" by Ernesto Galarza

  • "Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie" by Ole Edvart Rlvaag


In 2005, the NEH awarded 1,000 libraries the We the People Bookshelf on the theme of "Freedom." In the previous year, which was the first year of the We the People Bookshelf, 1,000 libraries received books for young readers on the theme of "Courage."

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities.

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