Creating a Welcoming Library





History Logs

Project Description

Country: USA

Location: Estes Park

Total Budget: $3,500

Area of Focus: Basic education and literacy

Activity Type: Education: Literacy

Summary: Creating a welcoming and belonging program library

The Learning Place was founded in 1998 as an innovative skill-building center for learners of all ages. The Estes Park Learning Place (EPLP) became a charitable non-profit organization in February 2002 and serves the greater Estes Valley community.

The Estes Park Learning Place believes education is the key that unlocks dreams. EPLP provides K-12 tutoring, GED support and Testing, SAT/ACT preparation, career development support, and more, for youth and adults in the Estes Valley.

The Estes Park Learning Place is committed to supporting those community members who have come to Estes Park from other countries.

With this grant, EPLP would purchase a Welcoming Library: Cart Collection for the EPLP facility that was designed by the nonprofit I'm Your Neighbor Books (IYNB). IYNB would work with EPLP to develop a book collection that reflects the Estes Valley Community's particular immigrant demographics. The project would offer 30 grade-level novels and graphic novels featuring stories of resettlement and new generations from 1970 to the present. IYNB curates the Welcoming Library: Cart Collection by grade level. The collection also provides 30 all-ages picture books with I'm Your Neighbor Books' discussion materials affixed to the books' inside back covers. These picture books, with their companion conversation starters, were given an official commendation by the American Association of School Librarians for "building a stronger culture of welcoming and belonging" in schools and broader communities. Each hardback book will have a mylar cover (Library cover), and will include an identifying I'm Your Neighbor sticker, a custom bookplate on the inside cover that will be designed to have both the Estes Park Learning Place logo and the Rotary Club of Estes Park logo.

Knowing how illustrated books communicate regardless of a reader's English proficiency or age, every Welcoming Library: Cart Collection includes picture books and graphic novels. These titles are not just for our multilingual or immigrant students; they are for all students. Every member of the community gains social-emotional health and learning when they explore these stories of resilient families. The books are mostly fiction stories and chapter books. All are educational. EPLP believes encouraging reading is key to helping our students learn.

All 60 books and conversation starters are housed on the book cart. Engraved on one side is the invitation to "Read to Welcome" and on the other side, "Read to Belong." The end panels of the cart are engraved with the phrase, "I'm your neighbor" in 10 languages. The three phrases and the nod to multilingualism reinforce the cart's mission to build community welcoming skills and to instill a crucial sense of belonging for Immigrant and New Generation community members.

EPLP currently only has a few bilingual books as part of their Home Libraries Program. The Welcoming Library Cart would open up a new genre of books that encourage all readers to be welcoming to those new to our country, by sharing stories of Welcoming and Belonging. EPLP believes having a special cart that highlights Welcoming and Belonging and immigrant experiences will be welcoming to those individuals who are taking citizenship classes; ESL classes; tutoring K-12 and those taking GED classes. We want our individuals to be encouraged and feel The Learning Place is a place for all members of our community.

With the addition of the Welcoming Library: Cart Collection, EPLP will have an opportunity to add a new Welcoming and Belonging Program they can offer to the School District, to the Home School Population and to the community as a whole.

For this grant we are requesting $2,333 in Rotary District matching grant funds, to go with $1,167 from the Rotary Club of Estes Park, total of $3,500 for the project. The funds will be used to purchase the welcoming library book collection and cart.

Rotary Club of Estes Park club members will provide any assistance needed with the assembly and initial setup of the cart. The Rotary Club of Estes Park will work with EPLP to announce and communicate the project to the Estes Valley community via the local newspapers and in communications from EPLP.

Project Contact Person

District: 5440

Rotary Club of: Estes Park

Primary Contact: Jack Boatman

Email: jack.boatman7@gmail.com

Project Status

This project is "Signed". This means that the signatures from the club leadership have been collected. This project is now being reviewed by the district leadership for approval. Once a decision is made, the status of the project will be changed to "Approved".

Project listed for the 2024-25 Rotary Year.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Estes Park (5440)









DDF contributions in grey are pending approval of the corresponding district committee.

Project Supporting Documents

Project Photos

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History Log Entries


by Randall Looper


Can you add a detailed budget of income and expenses to the documents area.


by Jack Boatman

System Entry: Creation of project page.


by Jack Boatman

System Entry: Project sent for club signatures.


by Jack Boatman

System Entry: Project signed by Jack Boatman.


System Entry

System Entry: Project signed by Anne Slack.

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