Pierre is a rural community of approximately 17,000 residents located in central South Dakota’s Hughes County. On May 3, 2010, Hughes County opened a 16-bed juvenile services center (JSC) to serve criminally detained youth in the central region of South Dakota. Prior to the opening of this facility, local youth who were detained or awaiting trials were sent several hours away from their familial support networks to out of area detention facilities. Since its opening a year ago, the JSC has served 195 children aged 10-17 years.
Many students that are served by the JSC have had few opportunities in the past to read for pleasure or gain an interest in reading. We intend to use the generous LEAP grant from Better World Books to build a collection of age-appropriate reading resources to engage student learning and interest. Also included in the collection of general interest fiction and nonfiction titles will be career books that will allow students to explore potential future employment opportunities. The Pierre Public School District undertakes this library project in support of the transformative nature of reading and in support of the reading habits that are already developing at the JSC.