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Rockwood and Principal Sparling School secure grants to elevate their school's library experience

February 7, 2024
Principal Sparling School students and Library Educational Assistant with the new books bought with the Kevin Mowat Seed Grant

The Manitoba School Library Association has awarded two Winnipeg School Division (WSD) schools, Rockwood and Principal Sparling School, with the Kevin Mowat Memorial Seed Grant to enrich their school libraries and foster the love of reading among students.  

Rockwood School is recipient of The Diverse Books Grant, a grant aimed at promoting diversity and inclusivity through literature. Principal Sparling School is recipient of the Canadian Author Grant, a grant designed to support the inclusion of works by Canadian authors in school libraries.  

This year, Rockwood School has installed two mini-lending libraries. One is for children's books, and the other is a multicultural lending library. The school has also purchased books about neurodiversity and books to support their GSA club. The community can also contribute by adding multicultural books and books in different languages to the library.   

"We have noted an increase in students who are newcomers to Canada. We want to celebrate our diversity and inclusiveness by adding more books to represent them. So, we will be using the grant to build our multicultural lending library," said Angela Perez, Principal of Rockwood School. 

"The books will stay in the school for all students to use. We have installed QR codes where our students share information with the community about what they have learned regarding their own or others' cultures." 


Principal Sparling School is excited to receive the grant as it will enable them to get more books written by Canadian authors and encourage students to read more. 

"We would like to thank MSLA for giving our school the grant. I'd also like to thank Mr. Rana and Ms. Queau for inspiring me and supporting me to pursue this incredible opportunity for our school library. Our children will benefit a lot with this grant. It will inspire a love of reading," said Michelle Saul, Library Educational Assistant at Principal Sparling School. 

Ms. Saul also shared a cherished memory, "I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Mowat. He came to my school once when I was at King Edward School, and I remember that he was a six-foot tall man who spoke like Shakespeare. He was an amazing person, and I will always remember him. It's awesome that Mr. Mowat's name and legacy continue through this award."  

With 40 years devoted to education, Kevin Mowat’s contribution to school libraries in Winnipeg School Division and Manitoba is huge. Starting as a classroom teacher, he later revitalized Tec Voc High School's library and, since 2006, he was the Divisional Library Consultant. 

As a visionary leader, Kevin united approximately 77 school libraries under a single library resource management system, revolutionizing access to divisional resources. What better accolade can one receive than to be called a "colleague, mentor, and learning leader."

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