There’s roadwork underway outside McKinley Elementary School right now and inside, a similar project’s been launched that most at the school knew little about – until Friday morning.

McKinley’s been the site of some exciting literacy initiatives recently, such as a partnership with the Iowa Cubs and an on-campus Little Free Library, and there is an even bigger boost coming the school’s way thanks to a generous, some might even say heroic, gift from a community partner.

Students earned a “shout-out” assembly through good behavior and the theme for the event was heroism. Principal Sarah Grady used the occasion to share some exciting news about a makeover of the school library.

Eternity Church, headquartered in Clive, has pledged a substantial amount for upgrades ranging from fresh paint to new furniture and technology.

“Melanie and Eric Larsen’s youngest son, Judah, is a third grader here,” said Grady. “They’re very active in McKinley’s Family Involvement Team and are members of Eternity Church. When I first started here as principal, I asked our FIT team to think about fundraising to benefit all students and staff. I mentioned it would be awesome to revamp the library.”

Melanie Larsen passed that along to the lead pastor at church, Jesse Newman.

“Our families aren’t just from the Clive area,” said Newman. “We’ve provided blessings to schools in the past, and we try to be extra generous, so we want to help people all over the community.”

When the McKinley library idea was shared with the congregation, donations and pledges poured in, to the tune of $50,000.

So THAT’S why the library was recently closed for repairs.

When it reopens in the next few weeks and the books move back in from the hallways, the space will be more flexible and include features like a green screen to enhance student video projects.

We captured the before look on Friday and will be back for the after!

Photos of McKinley Library Renovation Celebration
McKinley Library

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