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At a time public schools struggle to find funds to provide instructional and reading materials to Spanish-speaking learners, the Mexican consulate has donated libraries to seven schools in five Utah school districts.

The books were presented to representatives of the Granite, Jordan, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Tooele school districts during a ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the State Office of Education.The gifts, valued at $2,500 each, include textbooks, literature and reference books for grades K-12. The books are intended for adult learners and Spanish language classes.

Richard Gomez, equity director for the State Office of Education, said it is sometimes difficult and expensive for educators to obtain Spanish language materials.

"That's why this is such a significant event," Gomez said.

Raul Lopezlira Nava, Mexican consul for Utah, said the collection is intended to help Spanish speakers "keep in contact with their language."

The books also may be used by students learning Spanish. "I want to thank you for the efforts you've been making in this area," Lopezlira Nava said.

This is the second donation of books the consulate has made to Utah schools. Earlier this year, a library was presented to Salt Lake Community High School. Gomez said the students have delighted in the reading materials. "It's been a little bit of home for them."