From one IB campus to another, Grandview Hills Elementary organized a book drive for Mason Elementary. The school’s library sustained damage during February’s winter storm.

Water and books don’t mix. As a librarian, Grandview Hills Elementary’s Erin Bartley understands the impact. During the hard freeze of a winter storm earlier this year, a busted pipe at Mason Elementary flooded parts of the school, including the library. The devastation destroyed hundreds of books, taking part of the school’s history with them.

“Collections are built over many years and grow with the school,” Bartley said. “All of our Leander ISD librarians work hard to make the library space a happy one for our school communities; it was such a blow to see the destruction.”

Sisterhood of schools

United in designations as International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, the Grandview Hills and Mason campuses consider themselves sister schools. And when a sister is hurting, the other comes running. 

“We all wanted to do something,” Bartley said. “We wanted to be sure that the books that were donated would last and contribute to a real re-growth of the Mason library collection.”

With so many GHE students exploring passion projects, why shouldn’t Bartley? She reached out to Mason’s librarian Stephanie Beasley to create a wishlist with a library vendor. Bartley then organized a fundraiser for the books so that the entire #1LISD community can help Mason rebuild its collection.

“I was completely blown away by GHE’s offer,” Beasley said.  “IB campuses do a great job at building a culture that empowers students to take action, ownership, and know that they can change the world for the better. It’s humbling to be on the receiving end of their efforts.”

The impact of compassion

Due to the flood damage, Mason Elementary’s library lost more than a quarter of its collection. Beasley said while insurance helps, replacing books in today’s market isn’t reflected in the settlement. Every bit helps, and that’s where the “sisterhood” between Mason and Grandview Hills communities really shows what #1LISD is all about.

“Grandview Hills ES is a small IB campus, and in that sense, completely different from every other school in LISD,” Bartley said. “However, the connections that happen in our community make us feel like we are part of a larger family.”

If you’d like to participate in Grandview Hills Elementary’s passion project, check out Mason Elementary Library’s wishlist.