School budgets are tight, and smaller schools have been disproportionately squeezed.

There's just not enough money to fund everything to the fullest extent, and Flat-Rock Hawcreek schools have felt that pressure for some time. One of the areas that feels that pinch is the library.

The Hope Elementary Library is under-resourced. As a parent, I have noticed. My son has brought home books from that library that are worn and in poor condition, books that I would have discarded from the public library shelves. As a professional, I keenly feel the need (even if the Indiana Statehouse does not) to have a school library that is well stocked with good quality reading material that the children want to read. I want to be a cheerleader for that library, for all of the children who are impacted by it every day.

To be sure, the Hope Elementary Library has a budget. They do not need donations to function. Any funds raised through this effort are purely supplemental. My hope is that with some extra money, that library can function even better, to fulfill their role of connecting schoolchildren with high-quality reading material that will spark a lifetime love of reading.

The staff at the school library is wonderful, and I am constantly amazed at how much they accomplish given the constraints placed on today's education system. They do a lot with a little. I want to be able to give them a little more, and allow them to accomplish a lot more.

I have started an effort to raise a little money for the Hope Elementary Library. Anyone who is willing can donate to the Hope Elementary PTO, noting that the money is to be put into the Library Fund. Donations can be dropped off at Special By Design, or the Hope Library.

The money raised will be used to purchase new books and fund incentive programs for students. To date, over $1000.00 has been raised, and I am truly appreciative of everyone who has donated to this cause. The library has also received several donations of age-appropriate books in good condition, and more are always welcome. Thank you so much.

I love the giving spirit of this community. The people of Hope are so giving of their time, their expertise, and their hard-earned money. It's one of the things about this community that will never show up on a brochure or advertisement, but is critical to the success of Heritage Days and every other stellar event that we host. Hope is a community that is willing to give to support itself, and the people in need who live here. It's one of the things that makes me most proud to call Hope home.