Diversity projects at four Glasgow primary schools, and a writing programme for young people at Glasgow’s high schools, are set to receive funding as part of the 2022/23 School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF).
Administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), on behalf of the Scottish Government, the Fund supports creative and innovative projects within the school library sector in Scotland.
Available to all state-run nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools with a library, this year’s funding priority was given to applications which focused on supporting anti-racism and racial equality.
The £200,000 2022/23 SLIF has been allocated to a total of 18 initiatives across Scotland, including five in Glasgow:
- Holy Cross Primary School’s ‘Diverse Stories’ project which will explore traditional tales from different cultures to help celebrate the diversity pupils and their families bring to the school community
- Oakgrove Primary School’s ‘Home is Here’, aims to promote inclusion and a sense of belonging through literacy, in collaboration with the West of Scotland Development Education Centre (WOSDEC). The telling, reading, recording, sharing and celebration of migration stories – past and present - will help pupils explore themes of displacement and re-settlement and what ‘home’ means
- Shawlands Primary School’s ‘Inclusive Creative Arts & Literacy Lounge’ will enable children and their families to explore racial equality and diversity creatively through the arts, in collaboration with Rumpus Room. Providing free access to a range of reading materials that both address and celebrate racial equality and diversity, including dual language books, to help improve the literacy and language skills, confidence, and wellbeing of the community
- St Mungo’s Primary School’s ‘Developing the Young Workforce and Celebrating the Diverse Community of St Mungo’s’. This project aims to further develop the school library resources by hosting workshops and sessions to re-establish connections with families while celebrating the diversity of the school - which currently has pupils with 35 different first languages
- All Saints Secondary School and Lochend Community High School will establish the ‘White Water Writers’ project in collaboration with the School of Education at the University of Glasgow, enabling young people at Glasgow schools to write and publish their own full-length novel in just one week. Writers will plan, write, proofread and publish their own novel, before taking part in book signing events where friends, family and the local press can celebrate the young writers’ achievements
This brings the total investment from the Scottish Government to £1.5m over the lifetime of SLIF, playing an important role in helping school library services achieve the key aims of ‘Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools: A National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland 2018-2023’ - the strategic document for the development of school libraries in Scotland.
Congratulating the successful applicants, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “School libraries play a key role for young people by providing access to educational resources, supporting learning and helping to close the poverty-related attainment gap.
“The School Library Improvement Fund continues to support creative and innovative projects in school libraries.
“The anti-racism focus of the projects will allow school libraries to engage with pupils on the importance of belonging, inclusion and social justice.”
Schools can apply via individual or collaborative applications with SLIC accepting up to two individual approaches per local authority and an unlimited number of collaborative applications to ensure equal opportunities across Scotland.
Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of SLIC, said: “School libraries play a valuable role in education and learning, and ensuring every young person has the chance to fulfil their full potential. Projects funded through programmes like SLIF help to improve and expand the services school libraries can provide, so it’s great to see such strong applications coming in from schools eager to further develop these resources.
“We’re particularly proud to award support to those advocating for anti-racism and anti-discrimination through this year’s Fund and we can’t wait to see these initiatives come to fruition.”
For more information on The School Library Improvement Fund, visit: https://scottishlibraries.org/funding/the-school-library-improvement-fund/