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Idaho Lottery’s Bucks for Books Program Awards $105,000 in New Books to Idaho Elementary School Libraries


BOISE, Idaho – Delivery of hundreds of new books and big cash awards to ten lucky elementary schools in the Treasure Valley is underway as part of the Idaho Lottery’s annual Bucks for Books program. This year’s awards, totaling $105,000 to 39 schools across the Gem State, were announced during a public ceremony at Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa. Bucks for Books is a collaborative effort between the Idaho Lottery and the Idaho Commission for the Libraries to improve early education literacy.

“The Idaho Lottery was created to do good for public schools in the State of Idaho,” said Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. “Bucks for Books is another way we further our ‘Do Good’ mission by promoting early education literacy among young learners.”

“Our school is known for providing an opportunity to introduce students at a young age to the arts. We are designated as a Title 1 school with a growing population of diverse learners,” said Kim Yorloff, Librarian at Idaho Arts Charter. “With this award, we are starting a backpack program, where students will be able to check out books on their reading level and transport them from school to home safely and consistently. This will bridge the gap between the shortage of quality high interest books lacking in homes."

“We have been extremely fortunate to partner with the Idaho Lottery to provides grants to elementary schools to help get the books students want into their collections,” said Jeannie Standal, school librarian consultant for the Idaho Commission for Libraries. “These awards are used exclusively for books, which so many of our schools have little or no budget to fund. In Idaho, 28% of elementary school libraries have an annual book budget of $100 or less, which will only buy four to five books, so the funds from the Idaho Lottery are an amazing gift that will help young students throughout the Gem State.”

The Idaho Lottery will begin in-person awards for schools inside the Treasure Valley this week and then outside the Treasure Valley over the next couple of weeks.

Over three years the Bucks for Books program has provided over $185,000 in elementary school library awards and books to seventy schools.

The American Library Association recommends that an effective school library requires 15 - 20 books per student in a school’s collection, with an annual budget allocation of $12 - $15 per student each year to replace lost and damaged materials and to maintain a current, relevant collection.

According to the Idaho Commission for Libraries, in the Gem State, though, a majority of Idaho public schools lack sufficient resources for their entire annual library needs. About 28% of public elementary schools report an annual budget of $100 or less for book procurement, while 62% of Idaho’s elementary schools report an annual budget of less than $1,000. This is why the Idaho Lottery, in coordination with the Idaho Commission for Libraries, introduced its Books for Bucks Idaho School Library Program in 2019.

Bucks for Books is a concept that started with a conversation at Governor Little’s first Capital for a Day in Emmett. It’s a fundraising program by the Idaho Lottery and its VIP Club members that ran during the month of September each of the past two years.

The Idaho Lottery raised over $105,000 to support the program from generous players during September.

In October, schools applied through the Idaho Commission for Libraries for Bucks for Books funds. Awards were determined in early October and ranged from $1,000 to $3,000.

In addition, the Idaho Lottery conducted book drives at Idaho Barnes & Noble locations to encourage community giving, additional books and donations, to this program.

Below is the complete list of winners in the greater Treasure Valley area:

Amity Elementary in Boise - $3,000
Desert Springs Elementary in Nampa - $3,000
Fruitland Elementary in Fruitland - $3,000
Koelsch Elementary in Boise - $1,000
Middleton Heights Elementary in Middleton - $3,000
Sacajawea Elementary in Caldwell - $2,000
Victory Charter School in Nampa - $1,000
White Pine Elementary in Boise - $3,000
Whittier Elementary in Boise - $3,000

For a complete list of Bucks for Books Awards and for more information about all the Idaho Lottery’s “Do Good” programs, visit idaholottery.com/DoGood.


The Idaho Lottery responsibly provides a variety of entertaining games featuring Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch GamesTM, and PullTabs with a high degree of integrity to maximize the dividend for Idaho public schools and the permanent building fund. Since their inception in 1989, the Idaho Lottery has sold over $4.6 billion in products, awarded more than $2.8 billion in prizes to players, returned $270.9 million in retail commissions, and distributed $1.034 billion in Lottery dividends to Idaho public schools and buildings. To learn more, please visit www.idaholottery.com.

CONTACT: David Workman
(208) 334-2600