There are so many things to love about living in Temple, and at the top of my list is our public library.

I'll admit that I often judge communities by their dedication to their local library and promoting literacy, and the Temple Public Library is definitely a standout in Central Texas. Now, thanks to a generous grant from the Texas Book Festival, the library will be able to expand its collection to better serve the Spanish speaking community.

The $2,500 grant will be used to add over 250 adult, young adult, and children's titles to the book shelves.

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“Our library serves a culturally diverse community, and we would like to see our library collection reflect that,” Library Director Natalie McAdams wrote in a news release. “The demand for Spanish materials in our library has increased dramatically over the past few years, and this grant will help us meet those needs.”

Not only is this great for local readers who are more comfortable with Spanish, but it's a way to ensure that Texas' rich Hispanic culture is represented and honored as well.

Plus, it's an opportunity for folks like myself to practice our Spanish reading skills and get to know authors and perspectives we might otherwise have not gotten acquainted with.

Now I'm wondering if the library will offer Spanish language story times. Having someone who's enthusiastic about the material read it aloud to you as a child can really fire up your imagination and make you fall in love with reading and the art of storytelling.

This is exciting news for the Temple community. Special thanks is definitely owed to the Texas Book Festival, which has given grants totaling more than $3 million to over 600 Texas libraries since 1996.

Check out their website here to see what they're all about, and also visit the Temple Public Library's website here and their Facebook page here to see what they've got coming up.

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One challenge no child should face is being without the essential school supplies they'll need to live up to their potential and achieve academic success.

That's where you and I come in. From July 19 to August 15, you can donate school supplies at the following locations. Donated supplies will benefit students in need in Belton ISD, Killeen ISD, and Temple ISD. (Click each district to view their 2021-2022 school supply lists.)

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