Friends of the Library board makes donation to local school

February 14, 2019

SCOTTSBLUFF — Going to the prom is a special affair in any student’s life.

One local school got a little bit of help from the Friends of the Library to make their prom this year a grand event.

Each year, students from the Meridian School in Scottsbluff would raise money to host their prom by selling coupon booklets from Herberger’s department store. After the business closed stores nationwide, including its Scottsbluff location, students began thinking about what they could do to raise money.

“A lot of people in the community were hurt in a lot of ways by the closing of Herberger’s,” Harriett Aden, president of the Friends, said.

Not only did the community lose a store to shop at, many groups lost a way of fundraising for their programs.

“We are a small school and our students help raise the money and make projects for the prom,” said Tina Rudy, special education teacher at the Meridian School.

One option was to make handmade cards with original artwork to sell. The City of Scottsbluff, which includes the library, is the Meridian School’s Adopt-A-School partner this year and agreed to sell some of their cards at the library.

Aden volunteers at the library every Tuesday and heard about what the students were doing through Children’s Librarian Deb Carlson.

“She mentioned to me that maybe the Friends could do something to help them out,” Aden said.

The request was a little out of the norm for the organization. The Friends typically donate to programs that aid the library, but when Aden saw the cards with original artwork, she thought something could be done.

“Helping them sell cards is one way the library is helping with that,” Aden said. “So, I took it to the (Friends of the Library) board and asked them if they would consider helping.”

Cory Foster, treasurer of the Friends, had heard about the school’s prom previously. He said the board did not hesitate to help out.

“It was a unanimous vote,” he said.

The Friends of the Library made a $250 donation, which will help with costs associated with the prom. The students and teachers were grateful for the donation.

“This means that we’re actually going to have a DJ,” Rudy said.

The prom isn’t just for a select grade. All the students participate and alumni are invited to return and celebrate as well.

“It’s a big affair,” Rudy said. “Our prom is open for the alumni and anyone who is disabled is welcome to come.”

After the donation, students scattered to their favorite spots in the library. They make a trip to the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library every other Tuesday. They check out books, join in activities at the library, read stories and participate in story time. The school previously participated in collecting pennies when the library expanded its building several years ago.

The artistic cards made by students are still available at the library or at ESU #13.

The Meridian School’s prom will be April 12 at the Western Nebraska Regional Airport. The dance will start at 7 p.m. For more information about the prom, contact ESU #13 at 308-635-3696.