Over £50,000 goes to school libraries’ anti-racism projects

Over £50,000 goes to school libraries’ anti-racism projects

Two county secondary schools have been awarded grants to support anti-racism projects as part of the 2022/23 School Library Improvement Fund.

Administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council, on behalf of the Scottish Government, the fund supports creative and innovative projects within the school library sector.

This year’s funding priority was given to applications which focused on supporting anti-racism and racial equality.

Ross High School in Tranent was awarded £50,000, the highest total of any school, for a project titled ‘Stand up and be Counted’, which aims to ensure that diversity and racial equality are recognised, represented and celebrated in school libraries and communities across East Lothian.

The project will create a digital resource for primary and secondary pupils, as well as families in the community.

Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans was awarded £3,300 for its project ‘East Lothian Black History’.

The project will help students to uncover the black history of East Lothian, delving into the eradication of the county’s participation in the slave trade, colonialism and the lives and legacies of those affected.

Congratulating the successful applicants, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, education secretary, said: “The anti-racism focus of the projects will allow school libraries to engage with pupils on the importance of belonging, inclusion and social justice.”

Moyra Lumsden, librarian at Ross High School, said: “This funding will be shared across all school librarians in East Lothian and aims to empower our young people to be accountable, inclusive and confident to stand up for inequalities within our school communities.”

Derek France, librarian at Preston Lodge High School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity which further demonstrates the effectiveness of a school library offering cross-curricular skills and resources, empowering young people to take ownership and share the hidden histories of their local area.”

Caroline Messer, East Lothian Council’s team manager for libraries and customer services, added: “We are very proud to have such a dedicated and passionate team of school librarians in East Lothian and I’m delighted that they have once again been successful in attracting funding for projects to enhance the support we provide to our young people.”

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