By Martin J. Kidston
A host of Havre literacy supporters were on hand at the Havre-Hill County Library this week to donate books to the Hill County Jail.
The books will be used to start an in-house library in the countys big house, allowing inmates a chance to keep their reading skills sharp while behind bars.
Library Director Bonnie Williamson and Assistant Superintendent of Havre Public Schools Dennis Parman collaboratively wrote to the Office of Public Instruction under a grant allowed by the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998.
While the grant pays for a large portion of adult education throughout the state, Parman said, Havre was one of only two communities in Montana to receive grant money for the local family literacy program.
Hill County Sheriff Tim Solomon was on hand with Undersheriff Don Brostrom to receive the first donation of books. From a hardbound Websters Dictionary to several non-fiction titles to John Grishams latest, the books will get the jails library under way, and get inmates reading.
Friends of the Library President Bev Prim and Treasurer Shirlee Perrodin were also present as the Sheriff was informed that the library, and its interested members, were looking to establish a formal connection between the jail and the adult literacy program.
Friends of the Library put up a $200 donation for the jail to drive the point home. The money will be used to build a bookcase in the jails library, which will house the new donation of books.
We sure appreciate it, Solomon said. And now that we have room, wed welcome the adult literacy program into the jail.
The jail houses both men and women. Inmates locked up in the facility are sentenced to a period not longer than one year. But perhaps its long enough to get through a good book.