GROVE – A northeast Oklahoma charitable foundation is banking that its investment in the Grove School District will enrich the lives of young readers.

A $5,000 Arvest Foundation grant will buy library books for the school’s Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, Higher Elementary, Middle School and High School campuses.

“We are thrilled,” said Miranda Ward, Upper Elementary School librarian.

Grove, a 5A school, is the 62nd-largest high school in the state and has a student population of around 2,500 students.

Arvest says the primary purpose of its Foundation is to support local organizations that are improving the quality of life in the communities Arvest Banks serve.

“A child’s love of reading needs to be cultivated,” Ward said.  “This grant will buy books to encourage our young readers to develop a life-long habit.”

The grant award came during the school’s Book Fairs held on most of the campuses. The investment in young readers was also in the hearts of many of Grove’s residents.  

Driving by the Lower Elementary campus is routine for Donna Shoeni. On her drive, lawn signs announcing the Book Fair greeted her every day and an idea was born.  One day, Shoeni stopped her vehicle and decided to visit the school where she donated $50 for librarian Carol Hunsperger to buy books for some of the students who could not afford to attend the Book Fair.

Hunsperger commented on a social media post about how the generous gift allowed five students to go to the Book Fair and buy a book that normally wouldn’t have the opportunity.

In another book-related event, the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes broke a school record by earning over $7,000 at their book fair, according to Allie Cole, Early Childhood Center Principal.

A portion of those proceeds are redirected back to enhancing student learning, she said.