Fenway High School/Boston Arts Academy Library Receives Grant for GreenChem Project

The library shared between Fenway High School and the Boston Arts Academy has won an important grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.  The Fenway High School/Boston Arts Academy Library has received a $5000 federal IMLS/LSTA “Going Green” grant to be used for the Green Chem project. The purpose of Green Chem is for Fenway High School chemistry students to connect the relevance of chemistry and the impact of urban environment on their personal and community’s health. The grant will finance updated library collections to support this research. Funds will also be used for programming that provides active educational experiences and offers students opportunities to construct their own knowledge of urban Green issues that directly impact their future.

Upon learning that the BAA/Fenway Library received the federal grant, Deborah Lang Froggatt, Director of the Library, said: “After surveying a sample of students, less than half believed that chemistry has an impact on their daily lives. The Fenway science teachers endorse this finding. The resources  and programs that will be funded through this grant will help students understand just how important chemistry is in their lives.” Many students, as well as the general public, are not cognizant of the chemicals found in their everyday environment, including those found in food, water, and cleaning products. This interdisciplinary, year-long initiative began with a campus-wide assembly and a keynote speech by civil litigation environmental attorney, Jan Schlichtmann.  This project offers Fenway High School 10th and 11th grade chemistry students opportunities to participate in guided research that reinforces information literacy skills, science literature book discussions that deepen critical thinking, guest speaker programs that intensify learning connections and field explorations that offer real-world scholarship.

The federal funds will be used to add to the library’s eBook, DVD and online database Chemistry resources, procure a data projector that can be used for the student science fair, and support a presentation from the Silent Spring Institute about their research on breast cancer, the environment and the use of personal health care products.

Under federal legislation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through the Library Services and Technology Act of 1996, provides funds to each state using a population based formula. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners appropriates these funds to support statewide initiatives and services. They also distribute the funds through grant competitions or cooperative agreements to public, academic, research, school, and special libraries.  For more information about the federal IMLS/LSTA grants, please visit the IMLS Web site at www.imls.gov or visit the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners web site at www.mass.gov/mblc.

Congratulations to the Fenway HS/BAA Library, Fenway High School and Debbie Froggatt on this wonderful achievement!

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